When your team is staring at the longest losing streak in team history, you have to start digging deep for positives.
There have been some, and with the Pistons close to finally getting some of their veterans back, who knows, they might be able to salvage something from this season.
Player development has been the theme over the last four seasons, and though this one was meant to be different, injuries have forced Detroit to play their young guys a ton, so they are getting their reps even if this is not the way we wanted it to happen.
So far in the Troy Weaver era, the Detroit Pistons have gotten little to nothing from their G-League affiliate, two-way contracts or outside of the first-round of the NBA Draft. This has been a failure of player development, as they’ve had a ton of minutes to try out various players and haven’t able to find one that could stick.
The top franchises (teams like the Heat and Nuggets) stay good partially because they routinely find talent outside of the first round. The Pistons haven’t done that yet, but Stanley Umude is trying to make his case.
The problem is I can’t tell if he’s good or if the Detroit Pistons are just really bad.
Have the Detroit Pistons found something in Stanley Umude?
Stanley Umude has been forced into action because of all of the injuries this season and lately he’s been making the most of his minutes.
Over his last three games, Umudge has averaged 13.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists and added a couple of blocks. What I like about Umude is that he doesn’t try to do too much. He plays solid defense without gambling, takes his shots when they are there, passes it when they aren’t and runs the floor hard looking for buckets.
He’s shooting 57 percent from 3-point range in his 11 games this season (obviously on a low number of attempts) and always seems to be in the game when the Pistons make a run.
The eye test says Umude might be a rotation player in the NBA, but would he even be getting a chance on another team? The Pistons just signed Kevin Knox off the street and had him in the starting lineup for a couple of games, so much like Eugene Omoruyi before him, Umude may just be a product of a fringe player getting minutes on a bad team.
If the Pistons ever get healthy, Umude is likely headed back to the G-League and could very well join the list of short-time Pistons who we never hear from again. But he’s had a nice little stretch that I hope can continue, as Detroit desperately needs a boost and to find some hidden gems outside of the first-round of the draft.