Saben Lee had only logged eight appearances with the Detroit Pistons prior to Sunday, but that didn’t stop the rookie from producing a career-high in his first extended run of the season in a loss to the Orlando Magic.
With Delon Wright out at least two weeks with a groin strain, the Pistons were forced to shuffle their point guard rotation a bit. While newly-acquired Dennis Smith Jr. earned the start, Lee played the majority of the game for the first time this season.
In 32 minutes of work, Lee recorded a career-high 12 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals in the 105-96 loss. He converted on 4-of-7 attempts from the field and finished a plus-three on the court, the best mark on the team.
Perhaps most impressive, Lee looked the part. He seemingly showed no signs of being a first-year player, and may have earned himself a larger role moving forward as a result.
“He did everything we asked him to do,” head coach Dwane Casey said. “He distributed the basketball, defended his butt off. (He is) hungry. He kept the pace. We needed it to be. He found people in the kick-outs. We didn’t do a good job of knocking down shots but we had some great looks. … He is a competitor, he is tough. He just set the tone. The whole game, the whole complexion of the game changed when he came in.”
Lee offered a glimpse of his potential on Sunday and it served as yet another strong performance by a Pistons rookie this season. Including Lee, the team has three other rookies in the fold and each has had moments this season on the court.
The Pistons are certainly building toward the future and the team has shown its potential in spurts. The team may not be winning many games, but the future of the team appears to be in good hands.
This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!
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Published: 2021-02-22 16:36:39
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