The injuries suffered by the Detroit Pistons have been a cloud hanging over the franchise. However, there is a silver lining through all of the gloom.
The Detroit Pistons are having a season which has been ruined by injury. Blake Griffin may be out for the season, Reggie Jackson has only played two games and Luke Kennard his missed the last nine games and counting.
On top of this, backup power forward Markieff Morris has missed the last six games. As a result the Pistons are at the lower end of the Eastern Conference standings and are probably not going to get to the playoffs this season.
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However, amid all the doom and gloom there is a fleck of light. The Pistons are putting youngsters into situations that they would not have normally seen. Two of these players, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Sekou Doumbouya, are showing game beyond their years. Let us take a closer look into their numbers.
Doumbouya is the youngest player in the Association, having just turned 19. In his first seven appearances over Detroit’s first 33 games, he played 24 minutes, which is an average of 3.4 minutes per game.
Due to the injury plague which has impacted the Pistons, he started the game against the LA Clippers on Jan. 2 and has started the last four games overall.
In 27 minutes as a starter, Doumbouya had a double-double with ten points and 11 rebounds. He shot 4-of-11, missing every one of his four 3-point attempts. Doumbouya also committed five fouls.
The second game that Doumbouya started was against the Golden State Warriors and in his 38 minutes, he had a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double to go along with two assists, two steals and a block.
In the third game, Doumbouya was less effective. He had 11 points, five rebounds and a block. However, what Doumbouya gained from this game was the experience of guarding one of the all-time greats, LeBron James. He did foul out, but this experience will serve the rookie well for the remainder of his career.
In Tuesday’s win at Cleveland, Doumboya finished with 15 points in 33 minutes, hitting 6-of-9 from the floor and nabbing three steals.
Mykhailiuk is older at 22, but is only in his second season. He has gone from not being in the rotation to starting less than halfway in to the season. He has started seven of the last eight games, only failing to make it to 12 points once in that time.
As a starter, Mykhailiuk has averaged 11.4 points per game. This compares favorably to the 5.6 points per game as a reserve. His shooting from deep has improved from 41.8 percent to 44.4 percent.
This shows that he is not affected by the extra pressure of being a starter. While he has a -8.1 plus/minus as a opposed to plus 7.7 as a reserve. Not much can be read in to this number due to the fact that he has been starting without most of the Pistons’ best players.
Yes, the Detroit Pistons are probably facing another losing season, which is going to be tough for the fan base. It will most probably place even more pressure on the front office. If you look hard, though, you can see a silver lining on the Detroit Pistons 2019-20 season.