It’s tough to gain much information and truly evaluate a team just from NBA summer league games but in this case it is safe to say the Detroit Pistons have a promising future.
The Detroit Pistons concluded Orlando Pro Summer League play with a 4-1 record. The only team they lost to was the Oklahoma City Thunder but I look at more than just the win and loss column. I first pay attention to the rookies to see how they are faring in the NBA since once again they are rookies. Then I analyze the way the second and third year players are faring to see if I see any early improvement in their games.
I will start with the rookies.
Andre Drummond who was the 9th overall pick for the Pistons showed some of his potential. Mainly what I was impressed with was his incredible mobility for a man of his size. He made good defensive plays which was no surprise well at least not to me. However, Drummond needs to refine the more technical aspects of his game. As I have said before he has a lot to learn offensively. He also will have to improve his understanding of the game, things like positioning, timing and awareness.
Kris Middelton was decent but didn’t really do anything to really catch my attention. As I said before out of the Pistons 2012 NBA draft picks, he is the main one that concerns me. He didn’t make any real improvements in his game from college and is coming off an injury. He did mediocre in summer league but as I said nothing to special.
However Kim English performed very nicely and I must say I am not surprised. Kim English is nice steal for the Pistons as long as he plays consistently which I believe he will. English shot 45% from behind the arc and averaged 11 point per game in summer league. He seemed comfortable but still showed some signs of being a rookie as expected but he played hard and consistent which is normally always a good sign.
Now for the second and third year players.
I will start off with Brandon Knight who I was personally the most impressed with. Brandon Knight shot the ball well, kept his teammates involved and generally dominated like we expect him to do as a lottery pick. Knight wasn’t a prolific passer in college; however, he seems to be improving that part of his game. He did a good job of getting the ball to his teammates in a position where they can succeed, which is what we need him to do along with scoring.
Austin Daye performed very well which was nice to see but I can’t say that I am that impressed that he did well. The Pistons drafted Daye with 15th pick in 2009 NBA Draft and so far he hasn’t performed well at least not on a consistent basis. He did well offensively scoring the ball and also did a good job of rebounding as well. I just hope to see the same type of play I saw in summer league during the season from Austin Daye.
Finally we were able to see Kyle Singler the Detroit Pistons 33rd pick from the 2011 NBA Draft play and I liked what I saw. Now Singler spent last year in Spain so this is his first time really playing with the Pistons. He did pretty well, he averaged 10 points per game but you can tell he is still getting adjusted to his teammates and sets.
Overall I like what I saw by the Detroit Pistons summer league team, the main players who are primarily the future of the franchise looked good and ready to go. I noticed improvements in certain players and plenty of potential from other players. I think with Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey in the back-court along with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond in the post the Pistons future looks bright. I am interested to see who will step up for the Pistons at the small forward position. I also hope to see a better bench this year.
Don’t get me wrong while I believe the Pistons future looks better than it has in the past, I don’t expect them to become a championship team overnight but I am happy to see improvement and hopefully we see a better season out of the Detroit Pistons.
About the Author
Written by Lauren Beasley
Sports Writer, NBA/NFL Insider, NCAA Basketball/Football Scout. Creator/Host of Sports Talk with L-Beasley. Follow Lauren Beasley on Twitter and Instagram: @LBeasley313 Friend Lauren Beasley on Facebook: Lauren Beasley For Bookings, interviews, etc: firstname.lastname@example.org