Luke Kennard had been a bit of a disappointment early in the 2018-19 season. The former Duke star hadn’t scored more than eight points in a game this year, until Monday’s game against the Eastern Conference power Philadelphia 76ers.
Against Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Jimmy Butler, Kennard went off.
He scored 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting in the 116-102 loss, knocking down 5-of-8 three pointers.
Kennard came on strong late last season, with a pair of 20 point games to cap his rookie year, but this outing wound up being his career high. It also followed four games in which he scored a total of nine points, after missing all but three games through October and November.
Luke Kennard is coming off of a shoulder injury, and started his first game for the Detroit Pistons since the season opener.
It seems likely that he’ll stick around the lineup, given his performance vs. Philly.
Detroit Free Press writer Vince Ellis says that the Pistons need to “sink or swim” with the 2017 first rounder in the starting backcourt.
With Kennard emerging to possibly solidify the starting lineup in giving the team a legit scoring option, it’s time to let Kennard sink or swim.
Kennard was the first player Casey mentioned afterward in front of the visitor’s locker room at the Wells Fargo Center.
“He gave us something with his 3-point shooting,” Casey said. “It was very positive. I’m trying to get every bit of positive I can out of this stretch, this is stretch from hell. It’s going to make us a better team, closer together, tougher hopefully.”
The Pistons, which were without Blake Griffin in the Sixers loss, are now losers of five straight and have fallen to 13-12 on the season. They could really use an infusion of outside shooting like what Kennard can potentially offer them.