Andre Drummond shows potential, Kyle Singler shows ability in Detroit Pistons’ summer-league win over Utah Jazz


It’s probably foolish to draw too many conclusions after a full week of summer-league games. It’s definitely foolish to draw much after only one. But we have to start building a reliable sample for the Pistons’ younger players somewhere, so here’s what I noticed in the Pistons’ 76-73 win over the Jazz on Monday.

Andre Drummond

  • Opened scoring with a step-back mid-range jumper. He made that shot, but would he make it again in his next 30 attempts?
  • Used quick hands to get a steal under Utah’s basket and quickly hit a short fadeaway on the block.
  • Airballed two free throws. Maybe he should’ve faded away on those, too
  • Leaves his feet too often defensively
  • Had a couple blocks because he jumps a lot, also a goaltend for same reason
  • Had four steals, but I’m not sure whether a couple were good plays or just result of typical summer league sloppiness and the ball bouncing into his hands
  • Exploded quickly off catch into dunk
  • Made another dunk while being fouled and hitting the ball with the rim on the way up, converted thanks to huge hands
  • Most obvious assessment ever: promising, but raw

Kyle Singler

  • Showed great offensive variety. Made jumpers, drove to the basket, scored inside off cuts in the halfcourt and outran everyone on the fastbreak. He didn’t do anything great, but he did everything well.
  • Made a jumper with foot on the 3-point arc, a pet peeve of mine. Get your foot behind the line and get the extra point.
  • Played hard on both ends
  • Passed ball well, but not sure he has the ball-handling ability to run point forward at times
  • Incredibly efficient, shooting 6-for-8. Really picked his spots well
  • Fouled Deron Washington on late 3-pointer and Pistons leading, not a smart play

Brandon Knight

  • Drove many times he would’ve picked up his dribble last season – or not begun dribbling at all
  • Finishing in the paint was mixed bag
  • Used new driving ability well to set up cutting teammates. Would be a good match with Jonas Jerebko
  • Controlled the offense, but didn’t dominate it

Kim English

  • Took a couple charges
  • 3-pointers stroke looked excellent, converting 3-of-4 from beyond the arc with each make from the corner
  • Only Piston to make a 3-pointer
  • Doesn’t have the quickest first step but wasn’t shy about putting the ball on the floor
  • Willing passer off the dribble
  • Not sure I trust him to drive so much in a regular-season game, when help defense will be a half step quicker to cut him off

Austin Daye

  • Not involved in the offensive flow in the first half
  • Forced a couple first-half shots that he predictably missed
  • Moved better without the ball in the second half
  • Made himself available for looks within second-half offense
  • Predictably shot better in second half

Khris Middleton

  • Didn’t play much or do much when he played
  • Shot 1-of-4 and committed four fouls in 18 minutes
  • Of the six summer-league players likely to make the regular-season roster, only one not to start and played fewest minutes of group.
  • I’ll repeat the same question I asked myself on draft night: Why pick him ahead of Kim English?

Vernon Macklin

  • Looked like a poor version of the Macklin we saw in garbage time last season
  • Must play better to make the Pistons worry about keeping him on the roster

Yancy Gates

  • Didn’t have the explosiveness to dunk in moderate traffic in paint sans running start
  • Will probably need to cut weight to make next level

Casper Ware

  • Too small to fight through a screen and allowed a jumper most NBA guards would make
  • Solid ball-handler
  • Could become a Will Bynum type, but so could many and Bynum spent years crafting his game overseas to make himself the exception, not the rule, for undersized score-first guards