On Saturday, Detroit Pistons rookie Killian Hayes returned to play after missing 41 games due to a hip injury. Unfortunately, that was about the only highlight from the contest after the Pistons suffered a 125-81 loss to the New York Knicks.
Hayes went scoreless in his first game back while he hauled in five rebounds and dished out three assists off of the bench. The Pistons’ plan was to get Hayes back onto the court versus the Knicks and the seventh overall pick logged 20 minutes in the contest.
Despite going scoreless, Hayes put together a few highlight-reel plays after showing off his court vision. On one possession, Hayes hit Isaiah Stewart in transition on a one-handed bounce pass to set up the play.
Overall, Hayes looked to be a player still working to get completely back into a rhythm. The team knew there would be some rust on the court, but felt as though the game gave him a good opportunity to get onto the court back into game action.
“It felt good,” Hayes said. “It has been a long time since I’ve been on the court, just being out there with my teammates felt good to be back. … (I felt) a lot of excitement, adrenaline and a little nervous because it’s been a while but overall I was just happy to be back.”
The Pistons view the final two months of the season as a crucial period for Hayes to get into a rhythm and build positive momentum heading into next season. He is a key piece of the future of the team and his development will be an integral part of their rebuilding efforts.
This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!