Detroit Pistons Vs New York Knicks Summer League Recap

Apr 24, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Stanley Johnson (3) warms up before game four of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 24, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Stanley Johnson (3) warms up before game four of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons blew out the New York Knicks in their opening game of the Summer League with a 32 point victory. By outscoring the Knicks in all 4 quarters Detroit leaves the game with 8 competition points, a huge bonus in perusing the Summer League Championship game. They sit a top the table tied with Miami and Indiana, though ahead on points differential. Final score: 81 – 49.

As expected, Stanley Johnson was the focal point of this one, proving yet again what a force he will be in years to come. The play of the game for me came with the first basket where Johnson utilized his passing ability, firing a pin point pass from near half court to his Center, Khaleb Tarczewski, who slammed it home. That pass set the tone for Johnson who showed a variety of skills through his 27 minutes on the floor. Johnson at times took the reigns off of Michael Gbinije in running the offense, he was harassing his the opposition on defense and showing off his newly refined shot. It’s obviously his shot is a work in progress, but he showed glimpses of what it could be. Once he gets that thing consistent. Watch out. For much of the game, Johnson looked a half a step quicker than everybody else. With the new #7 focusing more on the specific skills set up for him he still managed to finish with 15 points, 8rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Let’s hope he can tighten up on his 4 turnovers and improve on his 1-6 3pt shooting for next game.

More from PistonPowered

A mixed performance from starting Point Guard Michael Gbinije left me wanting to see more. Gbinije had an unsteady first half against the Knicks. There were times he struggled to bring the ball up court, often looking for a team mate for help. Not only that but his shot abandoned him, finishing 0-3 from downtown in the first half. Perhaps with a half time talking to from Coach Bob Beyer, or maybe just shaking the nerves, that all changed in the second half. Gbinije came out to score Detroit’s first 7 points of the second half, doing so with a pull up jumper, making to free throws and capping it off with a sweet three pointer. The nerves were well and truly gone after that one. It will take a much longer look at the 24 year old before being able to judge whether he’s a fit for Point Guard or not. Gbinije finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists on a woeful 3-12 (2-10 from long distance) shooting performance

With Darrun Hilliard out injured Lorenzo Brown got the go ahead to start at the 2 guard position. Brown’s intentions were clear from the get go. He was going to play his heart out and try to earn himself a roster spot for next season. Detroit’s best shooter on the night, Lorenzo shot 60% for the game and had 12 points, the second most on the game. One notable play from Brown came in the dying second of the first half. Lorenzo broke his man down with a cross over and nailed the pull up jumper with around 4 seconds remaining. He seemed to be making floaters at will for much of the first half. That’s not all he provided. Brown was a constant pest on the defensive end, much like Johnson.

Though the Knicks had a cold shooting night, one stand out came in the form of former Detroit Pistons 2nd rounder, Dajuan Summer. In just 19 minutes, Summer shot 5-9, two of those 3 pointers, and ended the game with a Knicks team high 12 points. That may be a sign of just how cold the Knicks shooting was in this one.

During the halftime break we were shown the Knicks rising star, Kristaps Porzingis, who was in attendance. I had to do a double take, mistaking him for Pistons rookie big man, Henry Ellenson. I then had to double take the entire second half, wondering if Porzingis had snuck onto the court for Detroit. Ellenson began to show flashes, much like Kristaps had the year prior. After a quiet first quarter in which Henry didn’t attempt a single shot, he returned to the game with 5 minutes remaining in the second. From there he nailed his first shot attempt. A shot that would have had Stan Van Gundy smiling. A 3 point shot.

More from Pistons News

He went on to demonstrate what else he could do. Hitting from the midrange, putting the ball on the deck and beating his man off the dribble. Henry has a little guard in him. On occasion, Ellenson would rip down a rebound and charge up court himself, trying to go coast to coast. I think henry ticked all the right boxes in his Summer League debut, finishing with 12 points, 8 rebounds and thousands of smiling Pistons fans knowing they’ve got a steal.

Detroit will have a day off then return to action on Monday against the Orlando Magic Blue.