The highest pick among all the French basketball players to make the jump in the NBA, Kylian Hayes had a very complicated first season with the Pistons. But after his massive thigh injury that ruined his first year, the three-colored young leader started to find his directions.
Whether it’s his general manager, Troy Weaver or his coach, Duane Casey, everyone says they are satisfied with seeing Killian Hayes gain confidence and show more and more ease as the season progresses.
“I have to play more on instinct”
“I feel like he’s earned his American trust, more than anything,” he said. So explains Troy Weaver. “I was in trouble [sa saison rookie] Because of his confidence, or his lack of confidence in accuracy. Now that he’s got that confidence, you can see how much better he plays.”
Confidence boosted at the end of the season for Killian Hayes who has reached 10 points or more in 8 of the last 11 games of the season, including his “best game of his life” with 26 points, plus 8 assists, 7 rebounds and 5 steals (in 40 minutes of play) to beat the Thunder on April 1.
“We said when we drafted him that he’d need to be ‘American.’ That’s not necessarily a bad thing.” Added by Dwane Casey. ” [Killian] He always knew the structures when he played basketball. He needs to spread his wings by playing a freer, more focused one-on-one basketball to kind of break that structure. »
However, Killian Hayes specifically grew up in a home with a dual culture, American and French, with his father, a former professional in France, DeRon Hayes. But for the Pistons, he still had a lot of that European “collective” mindset, which prevents him from playing with the sometimes necessary selfishness.
“I just spoke to the coach about it, I think I was able to follow my intuition more and develop a ‘I don’t care’ mentality if I get the shot or miss it, or even if I make a mistake. I have to play more instinctively and play with confidence.”
“I must be ready to draw”
Already praised for his defensive qualities and fitness in the back positions from the junior season, Killian Hayes has confirmed his preparations on this side of the field this year. The ex-Ulm player explained that he felt a huge improvement in defense after only one season in his legs … And the “exploratory report” is already on his mind, knowing better the tendencies of his direct opponents: “Playing a whole season helped me a lot. I felt great all season and was in great shape from start to finish.”
Unlike Theo Malidon, he finally had a playing time similar to the junior season and thus his production remained very close to him as well, with 7 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds on average. The big downside is still the title ratio, stable from year to year, at only 37% and 27% at 3 points…
His main goal in the offseason will be to work on his shot and play without the ball, to be more complementary to Kid Cunningham.
Killian Hayes knows he has to shift gears and be more aggressive in the future: “I will do 1000 shots a day. I have to be ready to draw [quand je joue avec Cade]. »
In this regard, the Frenchman also mentioned the name of the Pistons’ assistant, John Beilin, who is active behind the scenes to help young shoots in Detroit. The three-color point guard plans to receive sound advice from the former Michigan coach on his footwork and technique behind the arc, one of his key off-season projects.
“I’m going to do a lot of basketball games, little games with other NBA players, and get used to doing more one-on-one and playing without necessarily having a system. Just pure basketball and focusing on my 3-point shot and the mental side of the game.”
His career high at 26 points:
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