After another tough loss at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, it could be easy for Detroit Pistons fans to get discouraged. The team is currently 2-7, in the midst of a 6-game losing streak, and there are major question marks surrounding Jaden Ivey, who at one time was thought to be a franchise cornerstone.
The general vibe of the Pistons fanbase seems to be one of conflict. Takes are being tossed around about Monty Williams’ coaching, the standing of one Killian Hayes, and the spacing problems surrounding Cade Cunningham.
In this time of early season speedbumps, I think it’s time we focus on one thing we all can agree on…we got one in Ausar Thompson.
The word generational gets tossed around a little too often in NBA circles. So and so is a generational scorer, so and so is a generational prospect…blah blah blah. The word has lost some of its luster.
But when Ausar Thompson keeps pumping out stat lines that evoke the names Ralph Sampson and Kevin Garnett, it’s hard not to use that word. It seems like a nightly occurrence that the phrase “first rookie since..” is written before an Ausar stat.
The Detroit Pistons have a generational stat-sheet stuffer in Ausar. He may not be able to shoot yet, he might be a little out of control at times, and sometimes he finds himself out of position – but both eye test and numbers tell us that when he is on floor, good things happen.
In just nine career games, it’s clear that Ausar can become some elite version of a glue guy, with Defensive Player of the Year upside. And this doesn’t even include his potential as a playmaker and a scorer.
I know I might be getting ahead of myself, but I don’t think enough words can be written about a 20-year-old prospect who seems to be built in basketball factory.
It’s rare to see a blue-chipper doing the little things on the court with such ferocity and the best part is Ausar Thompson is being rewarded for it. The attention is just beginning.
Ausar Thompson stats: on pace for most offensive rebounds per game by a rookie in almost 30 years
Starting off with a little historical stat here. Let’s play a game. Ausar Thompson is on pace to average the most offensive rebounds per game by a rookie in 30 years…can you guess the player?
If you said Shaquille O’Neal in his 1992-1993 rookie season then you are correct.
Ausar’s 4.1 offensive rebounds per game shatter any numbers put up this century and put him right up there with some of the best rookie seasons ever.
But wait there’s more. A quick look at the list reveals that there are no guards or wings in sight. Ausar might be crashing the offensive glass more than any rookie perimeter player ever.
If I were to try to come up with a reason these numbers are so high, I could point out that Ausar’s time spent off the ball gives him a better chance to grab offensive boards. It could also be due to the Detroit Pistons’ overall cold shooting, but let’s not focus on those things.
Ausar Thompson clearly has a gift for getting his hands on the ball. Some guys are just like that. A mix of elite athleticism, positional awareness, and overall effort generates this level of stat-sheet-stuffing.