As we look forward to the next season in the Detroit Pistons’ restoration, we’ll look to see development from everyone. This year comes with improved veterans and a more balanced roster, both of which should help Detroit’s young core fit into their roles and help the team win a few more games.
Detroit Pistons: Jalen Duren will get more opportunities
Jalen Duren should see more time on the floor. He only played in 67 games and only averaged 24.9 minutes per game. In that span, he was the team’s best rebounder at 8.9 per game. Adjusted to 36 minutes, that becomes 12.8 rebounds to go with 1.3 blocks. His presence should deter more than a few drives and baseline rotations, and he should be able to complete defensive possessions by securing the rebound.
Duren’s an athletic and intelligent post player who contributes on both ends of the floor, something the Detroit Pistons need to anchor their rotation.
Offensively, Duren scored 9.1 points per game with an effective field goal percentage of .648, which becomes 13.2 when adjusted to 36 minutes. Many of these points came without having a play run for him. He’s the type of player, like Isaiah Stewart, who thrives through hustle.
Stewart and Duren complement one another and could be centerpieces for Detroit for years to come.
This year, I’d like to see more plays run for Duren. More offensive versatility will mean more guys getting touches and greater focus. Young guys like Duren are hungry, and he’s more than shown his ability.
Duren should benefit from the arrival of Ausar Thompson, whose wing defense should allow Duren to stay low, protect the rim, and guard space more than an individual player. Also, the shooting of Joe Harris, Bogdanovic, and Burks should spread the floor and allow Duren to roll to the basket.
The addition of Monte Morris and the return of Cade Cunningham, likewise, will create better ball movement. Last year the Pistons’ 23 assists per game ranked 27th in the league, and Duren catching lobs at the rim is an obvious way to improve that statistic. Also, fewer turnovers should translate to more half-court defense, where Duren will thrive.
This could be a great season for Jalen Duren, and I look forward to seeing the Pistons’ young core take another step.