Jaden Ivey has been one of the early topics of conversation around the Detroit Pistons this season.
We had some uncomfortable questions after he was left out of the starting lineup for the preseason and nothing has changed since the games got real.
Those questions turned to concern and outright anger from some of the fanbase after Ivey started the season getting fewer minutes than Killian Hayes.
Those rumblings got louder after Hayes has had a terrible start, while Ivey is not only shooting the ball well (49% FG, 40% 3-point) but showing more effort on defense.
That was the case again last night, as Ivey played just 22 minutes even though he was 4-of-6 in that time for 12 points, added seven boards and led the third-quarter comeback that briefly got the Detroit Pistons back in the game against the Pelicans.
The Pistons will kick themselves later in the season over these last two losses, as they gave away the game against Portland and lost to a New Orleans squad that was missing five guys, including their best two players.
Hayes did have his best game of the season last night and played a team-high 39 minutes, much of it with rookie Marcus Sasser, who also played more minutes than Jaden Ivey.
And if we take Monty Williams’ postgame comments at face value, you shouldn’t expect changes anytime soon.
Is Jaden Ivey in Monty Williams’ doghouse?
I am all for making Jaden Ivey earn minutes, as he does need improvement on defense, but with the Pistons shorthanded and needing a boost on offense, it does seem strange that Ivey hasn’t gotten more of a chance, especially considering he’s putting in the effort on defense.
After the game, coach Williams talked about three guards but Jaden Ivey was not one of them:
Sasser has been impressive on both ends this season and was again last night, scoring 19 points in 23 minutes. He’s been a pest on the ball and is a shot maker.
Cade, Killian and Sasser have only played nine minutes together this season, with a whopping 150 offensive rating and 116 on the defensive end, though that is far too small a sample size to matter.
If you go by this comment, we may see more of these three on the floor together, especially as the Detroit Pistons wait on their injured players to return, but you have to wonder where that leaves Jaden Ivey.
Is he now below Marcus Sasser on the depth chart? Is there any low that Killian Hayes’ offense can hit before he loses minutes?
These are fair questions to ask, but one thing is for certain: This isn’t the start we expected from Ivey, who has been relegated to the bench and playing nine fewer minutes per game than Killian Hayes.
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