Embed from Getty Images No longer in a starting position, Detroit Pistons Luke Kennard has become a super sub and given strength to the Pistons bench. Detroit fans argue that he’s a better shooter than Wayne Ellington and slightly better defense than starter Bruce Brown.
Basketball is about the best 5 starters on the court. However, the Detroit Pistons and head coach Dwane Casey seem to be on to something. By taking the starting role away from Kennard his play has actually improved.
The way Casey has run the teams he has coached he puts an importance not only on the starters but as well as a transition to the second unit. To which the coach has identified Luke Kennard as the player he wants to spearhead and lead the second unit.
In most cases the NBA’s sixth man of the year could be a starter. That is what Dwane Casey is looking for. The fact the he picked Kennard is actually an honor and not a demotion from starter to second wave leader.
In the last six games, Kennard has averaged 13.5 points while hitting 53% on 3-pointers. That is what his new role calls for. Kennard has met the qualifications. There is something else that should be noted.
While Kennard does not start games. He has been on the court at the end of games more often. That speaks volumes to how the Pistons view Luke. As a facilitator and a glue guy who can and is counted on. The fact that Kennard is on the court during critical stretches speaks to his growth as a player. Both offensively and defensively.
Early in the season Kennard was playing lazy, did not seem ready for games. He admitted that coach Casey gotten on him about his effort. That is where the change came from.
Dwane Casey came to Detroit known for getting the most out of his players. When you are an NBA Coach of the Year you tend to know what your doing. Now in tinkering with Luke Kennard, Casey has shown that under his tutelage a player can give more.
Dwane Casey’s record of developing young players is second to none. Just ask second year player Luke Kennard.