By John Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Only seven appearances with limited time on the court outlined Sekou Doumbouya’s rookie NBA season in 2019, but 2020 began with a spectacular turnaround for the 19-year-old forward. Injury woes brought him in the starting unit the last couple of 2019-20 Regular Season contests. He responded with a pair of double-doubles for the Detroit Pistons.
“Don’t want to put a lot of pressure on him,” head coach Dwane Casey mentioned following the away win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. “He’s still developing. A 19-year-old kid. Don’t want to get too hyped up because, I promise you, that other side is coming. We’ve got to patient with that, too.”
Patience seems to be the key for the Pistons. However, a couple of weeks after turning 19, Doumbouya is turning heads gaining the trust of his teammates.
“That’s my guy,” said Bruce Brown after the French upstart scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. “He just plays hard, plays with energy. He’s playing his game out there. I tell him every game, just play your game, do what you’ve got to do, don’t think. And he does that.”
Doumbouya was the 15th pick of the 2019 NBA draft out of Limoges CSP. Spent most of his first NBA months in the G League gaining momentum into his 13 points and 10.5 rebounds per game over his last couple of NBA outings. He also averaged over 30 minutes on the court against the Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers.
“He earned every bit of it,” commented Casey referring to his player’s team-high 38 minutes versus the Warriors, “He’s still a growing kid. He’s in there to learn, to develop, to contribute. Sekou did a solid job. Made some shots, which was great, but he’s still learning on the job.”
Last Friday was matched up against Kawhi Leonard but went for ten points, 11 boards and one steal. Followed up with his 16-point, 10-rebound double-double while facing Draymond Green.
“That’s great company to be in,” added Andre Drummond on his teammate, “He’s playing great. He’s playing with a lot of confidence. He’s a very good listener, a hell of an athlete and a great defender. Looking forward to continuing to play with him.”
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