The Detroit Pistons concluded the 2014 Orlando Pro Summer League with a 3-2 record after a 96-87 loss Friday morning to the host Orlando Magic. The week in Orlando was a positive one for the Pistons. Here are the three things that stood out to me in Summer League
1.) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
KCP stands for “Kid Can Play” guys. Caldwell-Pope is looking to bounce back from a poorly mismanaged rookie season and he showed what he could do in this year’s Summer League. Caldwell-Pope scored 26 points the first game, 30 the second game, 26 in the third and fourth games, before scoring only 12 Friday morning against Orlando. Caldwell-Pope was aggressive to the rim, focused more on his mid-range game, and only went to the 3-point shot after he was in an offensive rhythm. He was clutch, making a game winning 3 against the Miami Heat, and he was just terrific this week.
For all of the naysayers who say “Oh it’s just Summer League” well Andre Drummond absolutely destroyed Summer League last season and used it as a springboard for this past season. Caldwell-Pope just has to do the same thing. Don’t underestimate the importance of Summer League, it helps guys build confidence in themselves.
2.) Peyton Siva
Siva got some playing time toward the end of last season due to Will Bynum’s injury and played well. However, Siva’s contract is non-guaranteed so Siva needed to earn a roster spot with his play in Orlando. Siva’s first game was a 16 point 6 assist outing against Houston and he followed that up with a 12 point 5 rebound 7 assist effort against Memphis. However, Siva suffered a hamstring injury in the third game against Miami that shut him down the last two games of Summer League. That probably sealed his fate and probably won’t be brought back. Which is sad, because I like Siva’s game and I personally like him better than Bynum.
3.) Tony Mitchell
Mitchell was a non-factor this past season as a rookie, in Summer League he kept showing how bouncy he is. Mitchell had putback dunks, grabbed boards, and provided energy. However, he didn’t really show anything else and that could hamper him in his quest to make a dent in the Pistons rotation this upcoming season. We’ll see what new management wants to do with Mitchell, but I didn’t see anything new with him than I saw last season.
Basically, this week was all about KCP. He was made the #1 option of the offense this week and Caldwell-Pope was terrific, I can’t stress it enough. He had so much confidence, so much swagger, and he was clutch. His next step is to build off what he did this past week in Orlando and show why the Pistons picked him over Trey Burke.
The Orlando Pro Summer League has ended and now we wait for October to see the Pistons back in action.