Суббота, 28 января, 2023
ДомойSportsJalen Duren’s Philly homecoming reveals a distinct aspect of The Course of

Jalen Duren’s Philly homecoming reveals a distinct aspect of The Course of


It wasn’t that way back that the Philadelphia 76ers had been within the midst of The Course of. Sure, there was loads of shedding concerned, however just a few positives got here out of it as effectively. Gamers like Jerami Grant, Robert Covington and T.J. McConnell acquired the runway to change into professional NBA gamers.

And, regardless of whiffing on just a few draft picks, the Sixers hit the jackpot in 2014 after they chosen perennial MVP candidate Joel Embiid third general.

There was one other NBA participant round throughout The Course of that remembers it fairly vividly — he simply wasn’t on the courtroom. Jalen Duren, the thirteenth general decide within the 2022 NBA Draft, usually discovered himself within the low-cost seats watching video games on the Wells Fargo Heart.

When the Detroit Pistons got here to Philly final week, it was a dream-like homecoming for the promising rookie.

“Man, it’s a surreal feeling proper now,” Duren stated pregame. “That is superb for me. I used to be simply speaking to the coaches, I bear in mind being up within the nosebleeds watching the sport so to be on the ground now it’s simply a tremendous feeling for me.”

And his coaches positively knew it was particular for Duren — principally due to the 40-50 tickets he wanted that night time.

“Effectively, I hope so as a result of J.D. took everyone’s ticket so it higher imply one thing,” Pistons head coach Dwane Casey joked.

Duren remembers seeing the beginning of Embiid’s profession within the constructing the place he’d sq. off towards the two-time MVP runner-up. It wasn’t Duren’s — or the Pistons’ — greatest recreation of the season, however the younger large man had his moments towards the five-time All-Star.

And that’s in a season the place Duren’s age has steadily belied his play. The groundwork for Duren’s speedy development was laid in a metropolis that loves its hoops.

“I stated [Memphis head coach] Penny Hardaway — and coaches right here in Philly — and [Memphis assistant and former Sixers head coach] Larry Brown, all these guys did an important job with him,” Casey stated, “so he was taking the fitting steps of an NBA recreation, NBA method, however nothing simulates being in it for actual. However he’s a fast learner, good, adapts to sure conditions, coachable — you will get on his behind and he responds in the fitting method. He’s gonna be nice for the Pistons group for a very long time.”

Duren starred at Philly Catholic League powerhouse Roman Catholic and in addition for Philly-based AAU squad Workforce Closing, which has produced quite a few NBA gamers.

Duren would switch to nationwide powerhouse Montverde in Florida for his junior and senior seasons. There he turned one of many prime recruits within the nation. He in the end spurned colleges like Kentucky and the chance to show professional for the G League Ignite to hitch Hardaway and Brown with the Tigers. After main Memphis to the NCAA Match for the primary time since 2014 and successful AAC Freshman of the 12 months, Duren declared for the NBA Draft, the place — after some confusion — he wound up a Piston.

However Duren nonetheless credit his Philly roots for molding him into the participant he’s developed into.

“The grit, the grind,” Duren stated. “Being at Roman and taking part in for Workforce Closing simply … basketball is big in Philly — everyone knows that. So, rising up getting that aggressive edge and taking part in towards all kinds of guys, guys who might have made it to this degree [but] simply didn’t make the fitting choices. I really feel like rising up right here helped me quite a bit, helped me with my aggressive edge, helped me understanding the sport and simply being in contact with the sport from an early age.”

The early returns on the Pistons draft night time have been constructive. Explosive guard Jaden Ivey, chosen fifth general out of Purdue, has confirmed to be a vibrant spot. Ivey and Duren, together with 2021 first general decide Cade Cunningham, might type arguably essentially the most intriguing younger trio within the NBA.

However Detroit is 8-27 to begin the 12 months whereas Cunningham lately underwent season-ending shin surgical procedure. It’s going to take time for Cunningham (21), Ivey (20) and Duren (19) to seek out their footing within the NBA and make the Pistons related once more.

Whereas there are a number of areas of development for Duren, he’s taken benefit of each alternative he’s gotten to this point.

“There’s loads of little nuances he’s nonetheless studying as a result of totally different nights are various things he’s acquired to do,” Casey stated. “He’s studying … he’s an important pupil — a sponge. However once more, there’s no magic wand to say the place he will get it in actual time and identical to all rookies there’s a studying curve however he’s proper on observe the place he ought to be.”

There’s one space of the sport the place Duren has already produced at an elite degree: rebounding.

He leads all rookies in rebounds per recreation (8.2) and rebounding proportion (16.7, good for 14th in the complete NBA). He’s additionally eighth within the league in offensive rebounding proportion (12.6).

Positive, Duren’s 6-foot-10, 250-pounds body and supreme athleticism assist, however there’s additionally an innate ability to rebounding that he clearly has.

“What’s gonna take time is his capturing, his free throws and all these issues,” Casey stated. “Defensive coverages, terminology — these issues will take time — however one factor I knew would translate can be his rebounding due to his measurement and physicality [and] his knack — he has a pure knack to rebound and that’s one thing you’ll be able to’t train.”

Forward of the matchup towards Embiid, Duren stated it’s the kind of problem he loves. Battling elite bigs like Nikola Jokic or Anthony Davis is one thing Duren desires to be taught from.

Whereas his recreation doesn’t appear to line up along with his beginning certificates (he simply turned 19 again in November), neither does his perspective.

“Folks will say I’m fairly uncooked and I have a look at that as factor as a result of I’ve room to develop in all elements,” Duren stated. “However the place I’m at now, I really feel like I’ve achieved much more than individuals would even anticipate. I really feel like all elements of my recreation can develop. I really feel like we’re locked in on simply me changing into the very best participant I can change into.”

Belief the method, Detroit. It looks as if the Metropolis of Brotherly Love produced one right here.

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