The Pistons' first round pick Andre Drummond was the lone bright spot in Wednesday's loss and backed it up with another strong effort in 26-plus minutes against the Celtics with his second straight game with 10 points. He also finished with eight rebounds and two blocks after grabbing nine rebounds and blocking four shots on Wednesday.
Drummond appears to be learning quickly in Orlando despite coming in with a general lack of high-level basketball intelligence and has shown that he might be a little further along than we thought with his offensive touch around the basket. He outplayed both Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger when matched up with them and that's encouraging after Kyle O'Quinn threw him around on Tuesday.
The biggest turnaround from Wednesday had to be the play of Brandon Knight. There was some speculation earlier this week that Knight might not play in these final two games because it is a grind to play five games in five days and he played a lot of minutes last year as the Pistons' starting point guard. His performance on Wednesday (and in all those minutes last season) showed that he needs this summer league action as much as anyone, though, and answered the bell with an overall strong game by netting highs in points (19) and assists (14, a career high). He did have six turnovers, but he was running the offense every second he was on the floor and looking to get others shots before himself, unlike Wednesday when he inexplicably hoisted 17 shots when they weren't dropping and turned the ball over five times in the first half without recording a single assist.
The benefactor of Kyle Singler getting some rest on Thursday was Khris "Middle Pick" Middleton, who started in Singler's place. While the Pistons came into Summer League expressing a desire to have Middleton on the roster, his play through the first three games has suggested he's nowhere good enough. However, on Thursday he bought himself some more time by hitting all five of his shots, two of them triples.
Austin "Summertime" Daye added 15 points on 5-for-14 shooting, eight rebounds, five blocks and two steals.
More after the jump.
- *Sorry we didn't get a recap up on Wednesday's game, but here's a recap from SB Nation.
- Box Score
- SB Nation recap, live from Orlando.
- Kim English had his third straight poor shooting game overall, but he made himself useful behind the arc (2-for-5) and by grabbing eight rebounds. His defense is also a strong suit, as he's drawing charges and forcing his opponents into bad shots. He's going to stick and he's probably going to be very valuable to the Pistons.
- I've been really digging Macklin and Yancy Gates. Unfortunately, at least one (maybe both) won't make the team. Someone else will make use of them, though.
- Another knock on Knight is his inability to get to the free throw line. He's been to the stripe 31 times in four games. 30 in three games if you take out Wednesday's all around head scratcher.
- Thanks to mcflies, we have Drummond's PER 36 numbers this summer: 51.8% FG, 10.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 2 spg, 3.1 bpg, 1 to
- Friday's the last summer league game and it's against the 76ers (1-2). Tip off is at 12 p.m. ET.
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