Guest writer Jameson Draper watched Pistons rookies Kim English and Khris Middleton during their D-League debuts tonight while the rest of us were being crossed over by Joe Johnson. Here are his thoughts on their performances. Thanks to Jameson for helping out with this and check out his work at Banks of the Red Cedar and The Only Colors. — P.H.
The best part about watching this game was simply seeing the guys from the NBA that we haven’t really seen a lot of yet get a significant amount of playing time.
Middleton played almost 32 minutes, grabbing nine rebounds and scoring 19 points. The most positive thing about Middleton is probably the fact that he looked good shooting and good on the glass, keeping the Mad Ants in the game, but the worst part of his game was that he had three fouls and made a poor decision on a fast break early in the game, deciding to try to keep it instead of passing it to a wide open English.
English had more playing time, racking up almost 40 minutes on the floor. He got only six rebounds but dropped 24 points, and he made some nice moves at the basket along with showing great court vision. He looked like a veteran among the other D-League players out there. English actually looks like he could be really successful in the NBA. His scoring abilities were great, he can shoot threes and, like I said, drives to the hoop well and can draw fouls. I can see him being a part of the normal rotation before the end of this season.
The most exciting part for Pistons fans came when the Mad Ants were down by nine and needed two quick threes to get them back in the game. English and Middleton hit them back-to-back. Although Fort Wayne still lost, it was nice to see these players come up big in a late game scenario.
English and Middleton get a chance to build on their promising starts tomorrow against Springfield at 7:30 p.m. The game will be streamed on the D-League’s YouTube channel.