The Detroit Pistons opened their preseason with a 117-96 blowout loss to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, but the good news is that the team appears to have found a gem in rookie point guard Jaden Ivey.
The 2022 fifth overall pick had an impressive debut, posting 16 points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal and no turnovers in the loss. He shot an efficient 6-of-9 from the field, made all his free throws and connected on his only three-pointer.
Ivey was a stabilizing force in the Pistons backcourt on a night when 2021 No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham struggled. The second-year combo guard finished with seven points on 3-of-12 shooting with four turnovers.
The steady performance from Ivey drew a massive amount of praise from fans of social media, with many predicting him to quickly develop into one of Detroit's top players.
Bally Sports Detroit @BallySportsDET
Jaden Ivey is calm, cool, and collected as he swishes the Pistons first 3-pointer. 😎<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pistons?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Pistons</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/ThinkFordFirst?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ThinkFordFirst</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZJNVojOjqa">pic.twitter.com/ZJNVojOjqa</a>
James L. Edwards III @JLEdwardsIII
Assuming Jaden Ivey is done for the night, he finished his first unofficial, official NBA game with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting and 0 turnovers.<br><br>The latter might be the most impressive, especially for a young guard, playing his first game in MSG against that defense.
Ivey made a name for himself during his sophomore season at Purdue when he was named to the All-Big Ten first team and All-American second team.
He averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists to lead the Boilermakers to the NCAA tournament Sweet 16. The school also achieved a No. 1 ranking in the AP poll for the first time in program history with Ivey leading the way.
It appears that Ivey is already comfortable enough to step into a primary role for the Pistons, so the 20-year-old is ahead of the curve in his development.
If he can continue playing like he did on Tuesday, Ivey will likely be in the Rookie of the Year conversation by season's end.