The Detroit Pistons entered the season with high hopes and expectations, but things just haven’t gone their way thus far.
Of course, losing franchise cornerstone Cade Cunningham so early in the season didn’t do much to help their winning cause, as they were expected to be in the mix for a spot in the play-in tournament.
But that doesn’t mean that the season has been a failure in the Motor City.
If anything, it has allowed their young core to keep growing through their mistakes, and they’re likely to finish with another top-3 NBA Draft pick, which is the best thing that could ever happen to a rebuilding franchise.
Also, it has given their youngsters plenty of opportunities to showcase their skills, with big man Jalen Duren as one of the brightest spots for the team this season.
The Memphis product has been dominant on both ends of the floor when given a chance to play heavy minutes, even making NBA history with his latest performance.
At the ripe age of 19 years and 66 days, Duren became the youngest player in NBA history to record at least 23 points, 15 boards, and two blocks, as well as the youngest Piston to record a 20-point, 10-rebound game.
Jalen Duren posted a career-high 23 points with 15 rebounds vs. MIL for his rookie-leading 10th double-double of the season.
Duren (19y, 66d) is the youngest player in NBA history with at least 23 points, 15 rebounds and 2 blocks and the youngest Piston with a 20pt, 10reb game. pic.twitter.com/xAL2w2xSnO
— Pistons PR (@Pistons_PR) January 24, 2023
Taken with the 13th overall pick, Duren has often looked like a man among children, making the most of his athleticism and strong frame to establish his position on both sides of the glass.
He’s averaged 8.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game on 64.4% from the floor, but those numbers will only trend up as the season goes by.