The summer league is the definitive tool for judging NBA players. I mean, we all remember the Hall of Fame career of Loren Woods, right?
OK, obviously, there’s a whole lot of noise clouding summer-scouting – perhaps so much that all this is useless – but the Pistons are playing, so PistonPowered will be covering it.
There’s some gimmick the summer league is using this year to determine matchups for the final game, including a championship game. I don’t care at all about that (unless the Pistons are playing for the championship, and then wooooooooo, high-stakes basketball, baby), and I’m not going to bother updating the meaningless standings. You’re lucky if I mention the score. (The Pistons beat the Nets, 76-67, in their opener, by the way.)
What I will provide is a player-by-player assessment of anyone who stood out. Depending on how the game went, not every player will necessarily get covered.
- Trey Burke shot 1-for-12 earlier in the day, and certain fans cackled. Caldwell-Pope followed that with a 1-of-10 day, leaving supporters of both one-time potential Pistons draft picks in a depressing stalemate.
- Shot 0-for-8 on 3-pointers
- Unbalanced on most of his jump shots
- Showed athleticism by driving for dunk attempt while being fouled
- Too good for this level, but in a game with sloppy sets and poor spacing, the external factors that held him back in college also limited him here
- Had 12 points, 16 rebounds, six blocks, five steals, zero assists, seven turnovers and six fouls
- Didn’t always play hard, which is understandable, because unlike a large majority of summer-league players, Drummond has started in the pros. But that’s disappointing, because one time when Drummond didn’t hustle back on defense after blocking a shot, Tony Mitchel, a teammate facing his own questions about playing hard, lingered in the backcourt with him
- Intentionally fouled as called for by new Nets
clowncoach Jason Kidd, who also got a technical and had to be calmed by Lawrence Frank. Kidd might be a good coach, but he did more to draw attention for silliness in this game.
- Looked out of breath at times
- Also looked like Moses freaking Malone
- Active on the offensive glass and successfully aggressive in going for putbacks
- Had seven points and six rebounds and made all three of his shots
- Made a long jumper just inside the 3-point arc, which is a nice sign for his range but a poor indicator for his (and/or the coaching staff’s) understanding of a quality shot
- Shooting stroke looked good, as it always does
- Made shots (2-of-2 on 3-pointers and 5-of-11 overall), which isn’t always the case
- Used his jumper to create passing lanes
- Comfortable dominating the ball and running the offense
- Took just two shots in 26 minutes, missing them both
- Finished well at the rim in catch-and-dunk situations
- Drove from mid-range, but too slowly, and his his shot was blocked
- Fouled rather than moved his feet going for defensive rebound
- Didn’t start and spent too much time playing with non-roster summer league teammates who don’t know what they’re doing for someone facing a contract decision – unless the Pistons have already made their choice
- Didn’t play. I’m guessing he might play later in the week, perhaps cycling into the lineup in place of Drummond, so the veterans each get a chance to get into a rhythm rather than everyone playing limited minutes in every game.