The Detroit Pistons have lost nine in a row and have the worst record in the league, so there isn’t much to watch these days outside the progress of Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren.
Unfortunately, Duren has been out with an ankle injury that has cost him six straight games and possibly a chance to end up on the All-Rookie Team.
While the Pistons may be resting some of their veteran players with “injuries” in order to tank, the ones to their young players have been costly, as they are losing out on valuable developmental time, as well as the chance to gather data about what might actually work.
The Pistons’ four bigs haven’t all been healthy at the same time, so we’ve not gotten to see Duren play with his new teammate James Wiseman.
But on top of the team being set back, Duren is potentially losing a chance for some individual accolades, as he is no longer leading all rookies in rebounding. His absence has been reflected on the KIA Rookie Ladder, as he has nearly fallen off while teammate Jaden Ivey continues to climb.
Detroit Pistons on the KIA Rookie Ladder
Both Pistons’ rookies have been a part of the weekly rankings for most of the season, with Jaden Ivey climbing as high as second and Jalen Duren making it all the way up to number five, surpassing his teammate at one point.
But they are going in opposite directions now, as Ivey climbed one spot from sixth to fifth after a strong week that saw back-to-back double doubles. Ivey also became one of only four players in the last 15 years to reach 900 points, 225 rebounds, 250 assists and 75 made 3-pointers in his first 60 games. The other three are his teammate Cade Cunningham, Luka Doncic and Stephen Curry. Not bad company.
Ivey has averaged 16.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game over the last week, while really turning it on at the end of quarters, where he is averaged 47.5 percent from the field.
Paolo Banchero kept his lock on the first spot, but Jalen Williams jumped up to second to displace Bennedict Mathurin, who had been entrenched in that position. Walker Kessler came in fourth just ahead of Ivey.
Unfortunately, Jalen Duren dropped all the way to 12th, and there are now two centers ahead of him, which does hurt his chances of eventually making the All-Rookie squad. There are some positive signs, as he has been upgraded to probable for tonight’s matchup with the Charlotte Hornets, whose rookie center Mark Williams leapfrogged Duren in the rankings.