Published Oct. 11, 2022, on TheRinger.com
Jaden Ivey takes a deep breath at the free throw line before gathering himself. The Pistons rookie drains two in a row, as Cade Cunningham, Detroit’s franchise point guard, rebounds the ball. They do this for each other after every practice. When you find one of them, you can usually find the other. They lift together. They eat together. And they often shoot free throws, as they are on this late September afternoon.
Many of their teammates are launching 3s at different baskets around the Pistons practice facility. Rebounders snatch the ball out of the net, preventing it from touching the ground, before whipping the ball to the next shooter. Every pass is crisp, each repetition matters, even though practice has long since ended. It’s the second session of a two-a-day during training camp, but nobody is in a hurry to head back to the locker room. It’s almost as if players want to see who can stay out there the longest. Who can make the most shots.
A quiet focus permeates the gym. Third-year forward Saddiq Bey, who spends so much time practicing that the front office sometimes has to tell him to take a break, launches shots from the elbow. Killian Hayes, a third-year guard, tinkers with his stepback 3s. Newly minted assistant coach and 16-year NBA veteran Rashard Lewis, who played for Pistons head coach Dwane Casey when he was with the Sonics, drills rookie Jalen Duren and third-year center Isaiah Stewart in the post. The two bigs practice keeping the ball high above their heads, then tapping it on the backboard, again and again. Then they step out to the perimeter to shoot 3s. After all, it is 2022. (READ FULL STORY HERE).