Patrick Hayes broke down the matchups against the Kings yesterday, which I thought made a lot of sense given Sacramento’s Summer League roster. Like Patrick, I didn’t see much from any non-Pistons draft pick, and Jonas Jerebko sat out. Here’s my independent view of Detroit’s four major players who played against the Kings:
- Austin Daye’s sore hip and hamstring hurt his speed, he told Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News. Well, I’ll give Daye a pass for being slower, but that didn’t look like too much of his problem.
- Daye was frustrated by the Kings’ physical defense, and he let it take over his game. He shot two airballs. He forced shots. He committed a bunch of sloppy fouls. And his body langue looked terrible.
- Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook noticed Daye did a much better job of turning and facing amid contact in his first two Summer League games than he did last year. Against the Kings, that wasn’t the case.
- Playing physical doesn’t come naturally to Daye. At times, when defending on the wing, he tried to be physical. But he was so obvious about it, he was called for a foul.
- Daye is still too weak to provide help defense inside.
- He had a nice crossover to beat his man and draw a foul. A good dribbler, Daye could probably do that more often.
- Ryan Thompson dribbled right past Daye to start second half.
- Greg Monroe was tired in the fourth quarter again.
- He had a strong roll on a pick and roll for a basket and went up strong on a putback. Those are two reasons I don’t overly question Monroe’s motor. I just question his endurance.
- He set another blatant illegal screen. His illegal screen against the Lakers was so ridiculous, I chalked it up to nerves, slipping or something like that. Now, Monroe’s inability to set a good pick has become a real concern.
- He runs the break better than I thought he could, especially without the ball. But he’s a little out of control when he has the ball and is leading the break.
- Monroe had some trouble dribbling with his back to the basket.
- DeMarcus Cousins abused him in the post. And Monroe didn’t use his strength advantage over Hassan Whiteside inside either. Monroe won’t have the strength advantage over a lot of big men yet, but I think his frame will allow him to gain a lot of strength. I’m troubled he doesn’t have the technique to take advantage of the situations where he’s already stronger.
- He showed nice awareness, jumping in front of and stealing an entry pass to Cousins. That came a possession after Monroe was called for offensive foul, and he looked geared up. I’d like to see him that interested in every defensive possession.
- Terrico White’s offensive moves look excellent when he’s looking for his shot. In particular, there was one play where he brought the ball up, the defender sagged too far, and White drained a beautiful-looking 19-foot jumper. But he was thinking shot the moment he crossed half-court.
- The question becomes, can he score when not looking for his own shot? I don’t think he’s a good enough scorer to play shooting guard in this league regularly, and if he’s playing point guard, he can’t think shot first at all times.
- Let’s stop the Rodney Stuckey comparisons. Both are athletic combo guards, but they play very differently. Stuckey attacks the rim much better than White, and White has a better jumper.
- White showed good point-guard skills on the fastbreak.
- White showed poor point-guard skills in the half-court, particularly entry passes.
- He extended his off arm on a drive and was called for an offensive foul. He looked uncomfortable in that situation, and you can see why he didn’t get to the free-throw line more at Mississippi.
- White showed his supreme jumping ability on a pair of alley-oop attempts. One, he caught almost as high as I’ve ever seen a guard go up and dunked. The other, the fumbled in the air.
- DaJuan Summers’ jumper continues to look good.
- He does a nice job of using his body to bump guys off and create room to shoot.
- He’s also a bit of a ball hog. I’m not sure he’s good at anything besides scoring.
- Although to be fair, I’m not sure he’s really bad at anything.
- On the other hand, he lit up the Summer League last year, too. I think Rob Mahoney’s thoughts on Donté Greene might apply to Summers:
"It’s entirely possible that Donté Greene was put on this planet purely to thrive in Summer League games. His ball-handling skills and decision-making aren’t exposed against the inferior competition, and he essentially has license to fire at will. As a result, Greene reveals the flashes that made him such an intriguing prospect coming out of Syracuse. Yet that’s part of the problem. Greene is so athletic and so talented for a 6-foot-11 player, but he’s more or less the same talent he was a year ago or the year before that. Donté manages to catch lightning in a bottle in Vegas, but in the big leagues? He still has a fair way to go."