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#pounditSaturday, May 18, 2024

Monty Williams’ handling of 1 player causing tension within Pistons?

Monty Williams on the sideline

Jan 10, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams against the Orlando Magic at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons just completed an improbable winless November (0-15), and it appears their issues extend far beyond their ineptitude on the court.

Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports said in a recent report that Pistons coach Monty Williams’ handling of young guard Jaden Ivey has been a point of contention within the organization this season. Fischer even goes so far as to say that Williams’ inconsistent usage of Ivey has sparked “tension” among Detroit’s decision-makers.

The 21-year-old Ivey is seeing just 23.1 minutes per game this season for the Pistons. That is a marked decrease from the 31.1 minutes a game he saw last season under Williams’ predecessor Dwane Casey, which was good enough for Ivey to earn NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors. Ivey has come off the bench in 10 of his 16 appearances this year and is regularly losing minutes to lower-upside players like Killian Hayes and Marcus Sasser in the backcourt.

It is a baffling turn of events for Ivey, who was the No. 5 overall pick less than two years ago and performed admirably on both end last season in the injury absence of Pistons star guard Cade Cunningham. Williams can’t make the argument either that Ivey’s reduced role has benefited the team as they are now a Bobcats-esque 2-18 and haven’t won a single game since before Halloween.

Ivey is still somewhat rough around the edges, fouling a lot and being prone to turnovers and questionable shot selection. But on a rebuilding Pistons team that should be all in on developing their best young pieces, Williams’ handling of Ivey is a real head-scratcher and may only further the narrative that Williams supposedly plays favorites.

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