Jalen Duren is expected to miss two weeks with a sprained left ankle, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Duren rolled his ankle late in the fourth quarter during the Pistons 116-102 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, their 18th loss in a row. He appeared in immediate pain as he quickly grabbed his high ankle and pounded the floor in frustration.
Detroit Pistons center Jalen Duren is expected to miss two weeks with a sprained left ankle, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Tough blow for the 2-19 Pistons, who have lost 18 in row. Duren is averaging 12.6 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 1.4 BPG but has had injuries to both ankles this year.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 7, 2023
The injury is yet another “bad to worse” moment for the team who hasn’t had much, if anything, go right over the past month-plus. After looking dominant through the first few games of the season, Duren missed considerable time with a separate ankle injury. He’s appeared in 14 of Detroit’s 21 games this season.
Part of the team’s primary young core, missing him for more time hurts, both developmentally and structurally. Head coach Monty Williams tried different rotations recently to figure out the combination that brings out the best in his team. Losing Duren throws a wrench into that plan, now with the need to rely on Isaiah Stewart as the primary big man. Marvin Bagley and James Wiseman can support off the bench, albeit defensive concerns from them both.
With a 2-19 record, it’s in the team’s best interest to allow Duren as long as he needs to return to full health. But without his defensive presence and rim running abilities, the Pistons are even more pressed for ways to find that streak-breaking victory.