The Detroit Pistons finished the 2013 Orlando Pro Summer League at 2-3. We got to see the continued development of Andre Drummond and top pick Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Three guys who stood out to me:
1.) Andre Drummond
Drummond was a man amongst boys in Summer League. It was almost unfair. In the Summer League opener he had 12 points, 16 rebounds, five steals, and tied an Orlando Summer League record with six blocks in a win over the Brooklyn Nets. He had two blocks on one possession.
He followed that up with a 12 point, 11 rebound effort against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The next day? He had 23 points and set an Orlando Summer League record with 18 rebounds. He ended it with 15 points and 14 rebounds against the Miami Heat. Drummond had a dunk during the week that had newly hired assistant, and former NBA Champion in Detroit, Rasheed Wallace yelling, “You’re too little!” at Eric Griffin who tried to block Drummond.
The kid showed tons of bounce and his defense in the pick-and-roll was very nice. He even knocked down some jump shots. Who knows? Maybe Drummond will be the guy to spread the floor for the team once October rolls around. Rasheed will probably be working with him on that.
2.) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
KCP struggled in the first game. He shot 1/10 from the field, including 0/8 from deep. However, he found his groove afterwards and really showed what he can do. He shot .431 in the final four games. He averaged 1.8 steals per game and really showed his athleticism, having a couple of highlight reel dunks.
He finished his Summer League by getting 20 points on 7/14 shooting and had five rebounds and four assists. It was good to see him get in a groove and get his confidence up after a clunker of an opener. I think the kid is going to be alright and he will be a part of the rotation come October. As for Trey Burke, who many Pistons fans were in an uproar when Joe Dumars bypassed him, he shot .240 in four games with the Utah Jazz. He didn’t play one game due to a coach’s decision.
3.) Tony Mitchell/Peyton Siva
If Mitchell looked like a steal on draft night, he looks like even more of a steal right now. Mitchell displayed bounce and athleticism. He also had a knack for rebounding. He averaged 8.8 boards and he had a game winning put back dunk against Miami.
I had to include Siva in here. He busted his ass in Summer League. He may be small; 6’0″; but he has heart and he hustles. He also seemed to have good chemistry with Drummond. He threw up a couple lobs to Drummond and they seemed to have some off court chemistry as well. Siva injured his ankle in the fourth game and didn’t play in the final game, but he insists that he’s OK.
The one guy I was really disappointed with was Kim English. English’s shot was terrible. He shot .235 and he even had an 0-for against the Boston Celtics. It led to English being released after the fourth game. I wish English the best.
Overall, it was an encouraging Summer League. Drummond looked as if he was ready to take another step this season, Caldwell-Pope showed some toughness and confidence, and Mitchell and Siva looked very good as well. Another positive? Rasheed Wallace didn’t earn a technical! Amazing! We have progress!