Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer League Game 4 Grades

After watching a third time, I'm confident that the pop up Korie Lucious threw on the Pistons' final possession of the game was a pass to Tony Mitchell and not an errant shot, thus appropriately ending a game in which the Heat were incapable of defending a lob. With yesterday's signing of Chauncey Billups bringing the Piston roster to 14 guaranteed contracts and the passing of the amnesty period, Most of the players on the Summer League roster won't receive contracts. The final roster spot is between potential fourth-string point guard Peyton Siva and lottery-talented big man Tony Mitchell. There is little symbolism more apt than Mitchell making a game-winning alley-oop while Siva sits with a recently acquired ankle injury.

But because many of the Summer Leaguers are no longer relevant to the Pistons' long-term plans, only those making the final roster will receive analysis:

Andre Drummond: A+
23 pts (11-23 FG, 1-2 FT), 18 rebounds (7 offensive), 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 5 turnovers

Throughout the Summer League, this Heat team has looked  dysfunctional, which is what you'd expect of the non-roster players of the two-time defending champs. The Heat play athletic, unorganized ball, which can be dominated with fundamental play. Enter offensive rebounding and Andre Drummond who found ample space inside for putbacks. When Drummond wasn't dribbling behind his back and driving to the lane, he was usually catching lobs from Peyton Siva after the Heat bigs were overzealous in defending the pick and roll. Add in a few blocks and Drummond was dominant all game.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: A
15 pts (3-7 FG, 1-4 3FG, 8-10 FT), 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 1 turnover

KCP's second straight quality outing showed his offensive versatility. scoring 8 of his 15 points from the free throw line. In college, KCP was adept at getting to the charity stripe, which I speculated was from late closeouts, but he's proving to have a nose for the rim. Most impressively, even when he wasn't shooting well in games one and two, he never forced his game offensively. KCP looks mature on the court letting the game come to him. That could pay dividends for his playing time as the season progresses.

Tony Mitchell: B
7 pts (2-8 FG, 0-1 3FG, 3-6 FT), 9 rebounds (7 offensive), 2 assists, 2 steals

Tony Mitchell, likely to receive the final Pistons' roster spot, threw down Detroit's final two points on a high-arcing alley-oop from Korie Lucious. Mitchell has struggled with consistency but his offensive flashes have been a sight to behold; his offensive rebounding numbers speak for themselves. Getting that production consistently and seeing more impact plays on the defensive side of the ball will determine whether or not Mitchell sees the court much.


A special shout out goes to Petyon Siva who had his best game of the Summer League, was injured late in the game while trying to earn the W, and who has developed a rapport with Drummond, never more apparent on-court than in this game where they connected for several alley-oops. Siva's shooting stroke and offensive capabilities still leave much to be desired, but he will hopefully find a home in the D-League this season, perhaps even making an appearance in the League. As for the players on the Pistons' roster, they offer a wide array of skillsets that will be difficult to properly manage but if paired correctly, could produce significant results.

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