In the first game Detroit will play the Orlando Magic who drafted Mario Hezonja who was the first small forward taken in the 2015 NBA draft three spots ahead of Stanley Johnson.
Game two features Johnson vs Winslow round I, in what figures to be an early (albeit not all-telling) chance for Johnson to prove that the Pistons made the right choice in taking him ahead of Justise Winslow (the third small forward drafted).
Saturday, July 4, 2015
2nd game 11:00 a.m. Detroit @ Orlando White
Sunday, July 5, 2015
1st game 1:00 p.m. LA Clippers @ Detroit
Monday, July 6, 2015
3rd game 5:00 p.m. Detroit @ Miami
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
2nd game 3:00 p.m. Indiana @ Detroit
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015 (Championship Day)
1st game 8:00 a.m. 6th place @ 5th place
2nd game 10:00 a.m. 4th place @ 3rd place
3rd game 12:00 p.m. 2nd place @ 1st place
4th game 2:00 p.m. 8th place @ 7th place
5th game 4:00 p.m. 10th place @ 9th place
For Pistons fans, Johnson vs Winslow will almost surely be marked on their calender, but for Johnson? You know he’s taking offense to being the second small forward selected in the draft and will be playing with a bit of a chip on his shoulder against Hezonja.
I love summer league basketball. It’s my favorite sporting event of the summer. The first two games of summer league are going to be awesome–Johnson vs Hezonja (!) Johnson vs Winslow(!!)– but the overall team the Pistons put on the court looks to be fun too.
"Van Gundy heads to Orlando on Monday, where the Pistons have four days of practices scheduled before the July 4 Summer League opener. He said Adonis Thomas, who averaged 18.9 points for the D-League Grand Rapids Drive last season, will join Spencer Dinwiddie, Quincy Miller, Johnson and Hilliard as the five players the Pistons will be focused on developing."
Of course Johnson is the headliner and will be watched closely, but I also can’t wait to see more of second round pick Darrun Hilliard and what he might be able to bring to Detroit next season, Spencer Dinwiddie (after a full offseason healthy) and Adonis Thomas. We’ll see whether or not Miller does enough to mike the final roster, but I have my doubts.
The game I’m most excited for–from a basketball perspective, not from a media driven rivalry–might actually be the first game against Orlando. Assuming Hezonja plays, which is the plan, I can’t think of a tougher match-up for Johnson. Hezonja has been playing against some of the toughest competition in Europe. He’s also got the strongest offensive game of any small forward–or even perimeter–drafted and could be equally impressive on the defensive end should he play with energy like I expect him too in his first exhibition game as an NBA player.