Uncomfortable questions about Jaden Ivey
Are we sure Jaden Ivey is better than Marcus Sasser?
This is definitely some small sample-size preseason nonsense here, but if you only watched the preseason and didn’t know anything else, you might think rookie Marcus Sasser was better than Jaden Ivey.
Sasser scored about the same number of points per game in fewer minutes. He shot slightly worse from the field, but Sasser hit 40 percent of his 3-point shots, which is more important to the Pistons’ offense.
Sasser got to the free-throw line more and hit 83 percent of them while Ivey hit 50 percent of his. Sasser had more assists and fewer turnovers in preseason and in general just played with more poise, especially considering he’s a rookie getting his first look at NBA competition.
Sasser is a bit of a chucker on offense and needs to have better shot selection, but he can fill it up in a hurry and is already a much better on-the-ball defender than Ivey.
Of course, Sasser was doing this mostly against bench competition and future G-League players in preseason games, but he was impressive.
These questions could look really stupid in a few weeks when Jaden Ivey establishes himself as a starter and we forget about preseason contributions from Killian Hayes and Marcus Sasser. But there is also a world in which Ivey’s lack of defense limits his minutes while these guys step up.
They are uncomfortable questions to ask about a second-year guard who was a top-5 pick, so hopefully Ivey will answer them in resounding fashion so they don’t linger into the season.