Pistons observations: Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren impress; turnovers costly in opener loss

Detroit News

New York — Three minutes into the first quarter, Pistons rookie Jaden Ivey walked the ball up the court and calmly stepped into a 3-pointer from the top of the key to score his first NBA points.

It was a welcoming sight if you’re the Pistons, especially since Ivey’s strength lies in his athleticism and quickness. The former Purdue star displayed those attributes as well during the Pistons’ 117-96 loss to the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

Ivey made his only 3-point attempt, but if he can prove to be a consistent threat from distance, it’ll bode well for the Pistons because defenders will have to respect his shot, along with his ability to drive to the basket.

Earlier in the week, Pistons coach Dwane Casey said he wanted Ivey to handle his defensive matchup and take care of the ball. The rookie point guard demonstrated the ability to do that on Tuesday, going the entire game without a turnover. The feat was significant given 10 of the team’s 21 turnovers came from the starting lineup.

However, Ivey wasn’t satisfied with his performance because the team didn’t come out with a win.

“We didn’t win, so I don’t think my performance was good enough,” Ivey told The Detroit News after the game. “We’re still learning, we’re a young team but being young that doesn’t really mean stuff to me. I feel like we got a lot of players that can play, so I think we just gotta learn from it. I feel like I didn’t do my part. We didn’t win. I didn’t do something on the court that impacted winning.”

Here are a few more observations from the Pistons’ preseason loss to the Knicks:

➤ Jalen Duren entered the game with the Pistons second unit of Killian Hayes, Cory Joseph, Isaiah Livers and Marvin Bagley. The 18-year-old rookie made his mark instantly with his rebounding, grabbing five boards in his first three minutes of action. Whether he was in the right place at the right time, tipping the ball to himself, or cleaning up the offensive glass, Duren was active in the paint.

He finished with 14 rebounds, two points and one block in 24 minutes. Duren spent most of the night playing alongside Bagley, a combination to be on the look out for since both are bigs that roam around the paint.

➤ The Pistons turned the ball over 21 times on Tuesday, leading to a lot of highlight dunks from the Knicks. Sloppy play was the main point of emphasis from Pistons coach Dwane Casey.

“That was the ballgame, us being loose with the ball, soft with the ball,” Casey said. “This exhibition game was an excellent start for us to show us how physically they have to be offensively, how physically they have to be defensively.”

Casey said solving the turnover issue is not an easy fix, but moreso a mental thing.

“We’ve been preaching it, and I guess you have to get stung by it before you correct it so typical exhibition game for us.”

➤ Killian Hayes spoke heavily about his confidence on media day and throughout training camp, citing it as his key to success for this upcoming season. The third-year guard looked rather comfortable leading the second unit on Tuesday. Hayes finished with 11 points and five assists, including 1-of-3 from 3-point range with his modified jump shot. Hayes often made the right reads, aside from two turnovers. A confident Hayes will benefit the Pistons going forward, more-so on the defensive end, but especially if he’s able to click offensively.

mcurtis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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