The Detroit Pistons needed some magic from the two Jacksons but it was their three rookies who set the tone in the win over the Cavaliers.
This game was essentially Tankapalooza 2021, as both teams are near the bottom of the NBA and hoping for a top draft pick.
The Pistons sat seven players with various (dubious) injuries in their quest for Cade Cunningham but the young players stepped up as they have all season.
Bey knocked down six 3-pointers in the first half while Hayes chipped in seven assists and Stewart grabbed eight rebounds. This trio is the future foundation of the Pistons’ franchise and the future is looking bright right now.
Let’s get into an All-Rookie edition of takeaways after an impressive win over the Cavaliers.
Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes looks like a different player
Killian Hayes’ season couldn’t have started much worse. After playing poorly in his first six games, he was injured in the seventh, which gave plenty of time for impatient (and not so bright) fans to call him a bust.
He has looked like a different player since returning from injury, especially his passing and defense, which have looked elite at times.
But he has also looked a lot more comfortable and aggressive taking the ball to the rim and finishing as he does here:
If Hayes can get more consistent shooting the ball, his ceiling is the sky, as he can already defend and pass as well as just about anyone from his draft class.
This play shows why Pistons fans are right to be excited about Hayes, as he showcases his vision, handles and pinpoint passing on this lob to Beef Stew:
Hayes finished with 12 points and nine assists and was a big reason the Pistons were able to put on a display of dunking in the first half.
He’s still a work in progress but I think we’ll be hearing the word “bust” a lot less often.