Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is teaching a lesson to Piston fans that thought after one season that he would only project as a solid defensive player with some offensive game.
Anyone who thought the Pistons made a mistake by passing up Trey Burke with the 8th pick of the 2013 NBA Draft has been put on notice.
The offensive game of KCP has arrived.
In Summer League play he is shooting 46% from the field and from three point range. He’s averaged 28 points per game, while nailing 14 of his 16 free throws.
His story though is about more than just stats.
The last two times his taken to the court, opponents have been stupefied. Teammates have looked up to his leadership to better improve their game and positioning on the floor.
Most importantly, the game has looked natural for him.
KCP scored 30 points in 31 minutes of play on Sunday. At times, it was like he was the only player on the court.
His offensive personality has leaked through his play. From getting put backs on missed shots to having no fear with a hand in his face.
Yet, he hasn’t lost any of his other strengths. In Summer League play, KCP is averaging 8 rebounds and 4 steals a game.
His display of dominance was refreshing to a fan base that hasn’t seen a guard with the ability to take over a ballgame in nearly ten years.
In a league full of superstars, the Pistons are looking to build a winning team around team players. Before two days ago, they hoped that Caldwell-Pope could be a small part of that puzzle. They signed Jodie Meeks to compliment his defensive ability.
Now Stan Van Gundy is smiling from ear to ear.
Last July, KCP looked lost out there with his Orlando Summer League teammate. He shot just 23% from the three point line. In the final game of the week, he made just one of the shots he put up, turned the ball over 4 times and went o-8 from beyond the arc. He went into the regular season defeated.
Boy, what a difference a year makes.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has always been good at taking care at the basketball. He’s always played solid defense and flashed good shooting range.
Now he’s quickly becoming the Pistons’ diamond in the rough.