Jaden Ivey finds himself on list full of stars

Feb 8, 2024; Portland, Oregon, USA; Detroit Pistons point guard Jaden Ivey (23)
Feb 8, 2024; Portland, Oregon, USA; Detroit Pistons point guard Jaden Ivey (23) / Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

It's been an up-and-down season for Jaden Ivey of the Detroit Pistons, though the down part had little to do with him.

Monty Williams inexplicably benched Ivey at the beginning of the season, noting his defense even though the entire team was lousy defensively. To Williams' credit, Ivey did make strides in that area, but given that he is clearly one of the team's best players, benching him is a move that might have gotten a less secure coach fired.

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This has become even clearer of late, as Ivey has been on a tear since the front office had a sit down with coach Williams to talk some sense into him when it comes to Ivey's minutes.

And it shows, as the young guard is evolving into one of the best isolation scorers in the NBA, ranked a surprising 5th amongst those with at least 60 possessions.

He's ahead of Luka, Harden, Jokic and Haliburton, a murderers row that represents some of the best iso scorers in the game, though they all get far more chances.

Ivey is scoring in isolation nearly 58 percent of the time and getting to the line on nearly 28 percent of isolation possessions.

He's figuring out how to harness his incredible quickness, which leads to a couple of conclusions.

The Pistons' spacing has been better around Jaden Ivey

A lot of Ivey's iso possessions have come during Cade Cunningham's injury and after the Pistons made the trade for Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari.

Since that trade, the spacing has been much better, which is part of the reason why Ivey has been so difficult to stop. That should continue with Killian Hayes no longer on the floor for the Pistons, as teams aren't going to be able to sag a defender into the lane.

Ivey has also been shooting the 3-ball better, hitting 53.8 percent of his 3-pointers over his last 10 games, which makes his penetration game even more effective.

Jaden Ivey needs more opportunities

Jaden Ivey is only getting 1.3 possessions in isolation per game, fewer than Cade Cunningham, who is way down on the list when it comes to efficiency out of those plays.

Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey have played well together this season if you look at the numbers, but the dynamic has shifted somewhat over the last several games.

Ivey has acted more as the primary scorer, looking to get to the rim when he gets the ball, with Cade being more of the facilitator in an offense less focused on Cunningham.

We should see more of this, as Cunningham is an unselfish creator who does have the gravity to draw defenders out of position. All Ivey needs is a half step to burn a guy, so Cade can be effective getting Ivey the ball more on the wing to attack.

We should also see more staggering of Cade and Ivey (it only took Monty more than half the season to figure it out) which will give Ivey more chances to create from the top of the key with shooters around him.

We are seeing a star turn from Jaden Ivey, who may emerge from this season as the Pistons' top scoring prospect.