Pistons news: Jalen Duren rocketing up the Rookie Ladder

Jalen Duren #0 of the Detroit Pistons dunks the ball against the Charlotte Hornets (Photo by David Jensen/Getty Images)
Jalen Duren #0 of the Detroit Pistons dunks the ball against the Charlotte Hornets (Photo by David Jensen/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons may have the worst record in the NBA right now, but there have been some bright spots this season.

Their two rookies have been standouts, especially of late, as both Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren have come on in recent games.

It’s been an up and down season for Ivey, which you would expect as a high-usage guard who was thrust into a bigger role when Cade Cunningham went out for the season.

Ivey seems to have busted out of his shooting slump, as he’s averaged just over 22 points per game over his last three and shot efficiently in two of them. This surge helped keep Ivey third on the Kia Rookie Ladder, which is the NBA’s weekly ranking of rookies.

Paolo Banchero and Bennedict Mathurin held the top two spots for the second week in a row, which was not a surprise, as Banchero has been amazing and Mathurin is one of the leading scorers on the surprising Pacers.

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But it was Detroit Pistons’ rookie Jalen Duren who made the biggest leap on the ladder this week after establishing himself as the best big man in his draft class.

Detroit Pistons: Jalen Duren’s rise on the Rookie Ladder

Jalen Duren has been in the starting lineup seven times for the Detroit Pistons and he’s made the most of it.

As a starter Duren has averaged 9 points, 13 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, tying a record set by Dwight Howard for consecutive games with 11+ rebounds as a teenager.

Duren is not only grabbing tough boards on both ends, but is a surprisingly good passer considering he’s the youngest player in the NBA.

Duren now leads all rookies in rebounding, is 4th in blocks and second overall in field goal percentage among those with the necessary attempts.

The league took notice and Duren jumped all the way up to 6th on the Rookie Ladder, up four spots from last week. This is his highest spot in the rankings so far this season and Duren has positioned himself for a spot on the All-Rookie team if he continues this type of production.

This season has been a disappointment in some ways, but fans have to be excited about the rookies, as it looks like Troy Weaver did well in the 2022 NBA Draft and found two players who can be cornerstones moving forward.

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