It is clear that LaMelo Ball y Anthony Edwards they took all the looks like the best rookies of last season, So what Tyrese Haliburton he was one step behind them to complete the podium. But that does not mean that you do not have to look at other first-year players based on their outstanding productions, and what Saddiq Bey is worth mentioning. In fact, his 2020-2021 was really historic in a specific section, which only reinforces its great value within this reconstruction facing the Detroit Pistons. Yes, the weight will fall mainly on Cade Cunningham, # 1 of the recent draft. But the former Villanova is essential to the structure of Dwane Casey.
To understand the latter, we must first go to what was, as we said, his excellent production last year. After being chosen in the 19th place in the Draft, began coming off the bench in the early part of the season, until the departure of Blake Griffin finished propelling his introduction into the starting lineup. They did not give it to him far from it, since his first glimpses in the course had been interesting. But the move to the starting quintet ended up empowering him as one of the best rookies in the litter.
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In the basic numbers we find averages of 12.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 27.3 minutes throughout its 70 presentations. If we take only their matches as a starter (53), they go up to 13.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 30.8 minutes. But the true constant is in one of its main qualities: the triple. And that’s where the story gets in your case.
Bey ended the season with a 38% success rate for the triple taking 6.6 attempts per game. In itself, more than good numbers. In fact, only 19 players all season took at least 450 total attempts from long range, and his percentage of success was the 12th best of them all. Ahead, among others, were Stephen Curry, Duncan Robinson, Damian Lillard and Buddy Hield. In other words, the very first line of snipers in the competition. Now, why do we say it was a historic season for him?
And is that no first-year player had managed to finish a season with his hitting percentage to triple (38%) having taken his shot volume per game (6.6), according to the StatHead database. There is a detail in this data: the name of Armoni Brooks, the Rockets’ rookie in 2020-2021, but his 38.2% in 7.9 attempts per duel came in a much smaller sample, just 20 games (157 total attempts). When we apply the filter to a minimum of 450 attempts this season, Bey (had 460) is left alone.
To dig a little deeper: Bey is one of eight players in history to attempt at least 450 3-pointers as a rookie. What was the success of the rest of them? Damian Lillard 36.8% (503 attempts), Allen Iverson 34.1% (455), Donovan Mitchell 34% (550), Anthony Edwards 32.9% (520), Luka Doncic 32.7% (514) and Trae Young 32.4% (482). A couple more details:
- Their 175 3-pointers made are the third best mark for a rookie, only behind Donovan Mitchell (187 in 2017-2018) and Damian Lillard (185 in 2012-2013).
- Sumo 13 games with at least 5 triples scored, best for a rookie (Iverson and Steph Curry had the best previous record, with 9 such encounters.)
In summary, we can say that Bey quickly made it clear that his outside ability is not only promising, but that he is already starting to stand out throughout the league. And that profile is exactly what makes him vital to Casey’s build. Not only because he also has good defensive instincts that enhance his contribution on both sides, but because It looks like the ideal complement as a secondary weapon.
We are talking about a team that will have Cade Cunningham as a pillar for driving. Which will also feature Killian Hayes (# 7 of the 2020 Draft) as his partner in the midfield and also with the need for the ball to be effective. And they must be added to Jerami Grant, who comes from a 2020-2021 where he showed that he can be the main option of a team, responding to the challenge of, precisely, having greater responsibilities with the ball. Among the three they will have the greatest use and a great capacity to generate spaces, and there the figure of Bey jumps to be able to exploit the options that are generated.
As reference: 53.5% of his shots in 2020-2021 were triples in a catch and shoot situation, and he connected 40.2% of them. In short, the ideal mold Detroit needs to complete that young nucleus that is probably not here to win consistently, but has everything to grow in the best way.
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Saddiq Bey, the silent key to rebuilding the Detroit Pistons after a historic season from triple as a rookie