Even Vegas is taking notice of Killian Hayes’ improvement

Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

Killian Hayes was a poor shooter his entire career, until suddenly finding his shooting stroke a month ago.  More than Detroit Pistons fans have noticed the difference, as the Las Vegas oddsmakers are now adjusting their expectations of the 6-foot-5 guard.

.The book on guard Killian Hayes was pretty simple: good passer, nice perimeter defender and had zero skills on offense. But since being put in the starting lineup on November 12, the book has been rewritten, and the bookies have noticed.

There is no sentimentality when money is on the line. The bookies in Las Vegas are only fans of making betting lines that are realistic and would attract bettors.

And the smart money in Vegas is saying Hayes is suddenly a double-digit scorer (who would’ve thunk that?).

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According to Betdecider, the over/under bet on points for Hayes against the Nets was 10.5 points. To think Hayes will score in double figures seems obvious right now, but it was not too long ago the Frenchman was looked at as a backup point guard, the role he had been playing all year.

In the first 11 games of the season, Hayes’s highest scoring game was five points. Considering Hayes in his first two years, where he started a majority of the games, only averaged 6.9 points, shooting an awful 27-percent on three-pointers, his lack of scoring production at the beginning was not surprising.

Starting his third season in the NBA, Hayes was close to being slapped with the ‘bust’ label, as the No. 7 pick in the 2020 draft is suppose to be better than a backup point guard on one of the worst teams in the league.

And then, it all clicked. The Killian Hayes taking the floor for Detroit since November 25 is totally different than the one who played the previous two and a quarter seasons.

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There was much ballyhoo at training camp about how Hayes had overhauled over the summer on his shooting form while working out with the French national teams. But there were no signs of improvement in Hayes shooting ability – he made just three of his first 24 total shots, in Detroit’s first six games.

Wa-la! Killian Hayes now a solid starter for Detroit Pistons

Interestingly, since Cade Cunningham left the lineup due to a season-ending injury, and Hayes moved into the starting lineup, basically because coach Dwane Casey had no real alternative, Hayes has begun to blossom.

In the 10 games before the Pistons faced the Nets, Hayes averaged 13.1 points, 7.2 assists and 2.9 rebounds. Importantly, he was shooting 45.8% from the floor and 37.5% on three-pointers.

Hayes struggled against backups but is now flourishing as a starter. Makes no sense, except for the most obvious reasons:

  • His confidence level is now sky high. Shooting with confidence, particularly with a reworked shooting stroke, is certainly a key.
  • Hayes can relax as he knows playing time or a starting spot are not in danger due to a poor performance. Cory Joseph starting again? That’s the alternative. Knowing there is no quick hook allows Hayes to play freely.
  • He just needed time. Hayes is still only 21-years-old and came to the NBA following a year in a German pro league. On a very young roster, only Cunningham and the two rookies, Jalen Duren and Jaden Ivey, are younger that Hayes.

That people would bet money that Killian Hayes will score more than 11 points in a game would have seen almost incomprehensible a month ago. Now, probably smart to lay money on it happening.

Next. The ceiling on Killian Hayes. dark