3 things we may have underestimated about the Detroit Pistons
Jalen Duren’s defensive leap
Jalen Duren was the youngest player in the NBA last season, but showed he could rebound and pass a little.
We talked all offseason about how he needed to improve defensively, and after two games it looks like that leap came sooner than expected.
Duren has been dominant in the first two games, grabbing every rebound in sight, but more importantly, making good rotations on defense, contesting shots and protecting the rim with six blocks in the first two contests.
Duren manhandled Mark Williams last night, finishing the game with 14 points, 17 rebounds, two blocks and a steal that led to a Beef Stew dunk on the other end:
Ausar Thompson, Killian Hayes and Isaiah Stewart have all been very good defensively, but the most noticeable difference to me has been Duren, who has been in the right spots and looks to be tapping into his immense potential on the defensive end.
If Duren’s defense is what it has looked like in the first two games, the Pistons may have their defensive anchor, which changes the ceiling for what they can be this season.