The primary worry was in Bey’s offense. While his points scored were roughly the same on paper, his efficiency was not. His shooting percentage had drastically decreased—particularly from three-point range, where he earned a living the year prior.
On December 16 in Indianapolis, however, Bey had a breakout performance that matched his season-high of 28 points. They still lost to the Pacers, but since then, he has been on a hot streak unmatched by anyone on the team.
Saddiq Bey has been on a blistering streak for the Detroit Pistons for three weeks, and he is playing above and beyond the caliber of his stellar first season.
Since December 16—nine games—Bey is averaging 25 points per game and shooting 38% from three. This percentage is in line with his 2020-21 numbers, except at an even higher volume.
The past nine games have seen nearly ten three-point attempts per game, compared with 6.6 last year. Most of Bey’s shots come off a catch-and-shoot, and he is thriving with Cade Cunningham’s creation. Nearly seven passes per game come from Cunningham. Additionally, Bey is getting to the free-throw line a lot more and hitting an astounding 93% of them.
He is helping on the defensive end as well. He has had three games of ten or more rebounds in the past month, which is one fewer than all of last year. His perimeter defense continues to be solid, as he limits opponents’ three-point shooting. He is not a liability at the end of games when the team needs his free throw shooting. All in all, these nine games have been the best stretch of Bey’s young career.
His performance these past few weeks was on full display last evening against Milwaukee. He scored a career-high 34 points on eight threes. The Detroit Pistons beat the defending champions and ended their 6-game win streak. The Pistons, meanwhile, won back-to-back games for the first time all season.
Evidently, it may have been too early to judge Bey’s sophomore season. He certainly struggled the first two months of the year, as young players are bound to do, but his resiliency is paying off in his earned time. Bey is seeing more minutes than last year, and he has started every game. Dwane Casey and the coaching staff obviously trust Saddiq Bey. Until he comes back to earth, so to speak, they have no reason not to.
Nine games is still a small sample size; it is barely over one-tenth of one full season. But for these last nine games at least, Saddiq Bey has been the reason to pay attention to the Detroit Pistons.