Detroit Pistons rookie center Jalen Duren appreciates the advice he’s getting from third-year player Isaiah Stewart. After all, both teammates play the same position and want to win together.
“It’s because we have the same goals,” Duren told James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. We want to be the best players we can be, so the Pistons can be the best organization they can be.
Based on a few NBA betting sites, the Pistons have the seventh-lowest odds of winning the 2023 NBA Championship. However, some oddsmakers are counting on a playoff appearance this season.
— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) October 22, 2022
“I’m a winner,” Duren said. “Isaiah is a winner. We all want to win. That’s my thinking, and I know it’s his thinking. It’s not a competition. We all just want to be great. It pushes me to be great. I try to do the same for him.
Duren was selected 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2022 NBA Draft. However, his draft rights were traded to the New York Knicks and then the Pistons.
In his rookie NBA debut, Duren finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks in 22 minutes of action in the Pistons’ 113-109 win over the Orlando Magic. He shot 7-of-13 (53.8%) from the field.
Pistons rookie center Jalen Duren is grateful for Isaiah Stewart’s advice on and off the court.
During Stewart’s 2022-23 season against the Magic, he had 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. The center shot 3 of 6 (50%) from the floor and 1 of 4 (25%) from 3-point range.
On Friday, in Detroit’s 130-106 loss to the Kicks, Duren capped his performance with 8 points, 10 rebounds and 1 steal in 23 minutes off the bench. Stewart closed the night with a similar stat line.
“There are no stronger people than Isaiah,” Duren continued. “Learning the physicality of playing with Isaiah prepares you for this level.”
“Like I said, people don’t play as hard as he does, or they’re not as strong as he is and keep it going like he does. It definitely got me ready for these games because I was like, ‘Yeah, okay. He’s not Isaiah Stewart.’
There is no doubting Stewart’s physical strength. Last November, in the Pistons’ 121-116 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James elbowed the center in the face, causing bleeding near his right eye.
While Stewart is looking to receive his first All-Star selection in his third season, Jalen Duren is hoping to receive a rookie award or selection. The University of Memphis product turns 19 this November.