From the start, the Pistons key players appeared ready to play. They closed the 1st quarter with 1 puppy point outscoring the depleted Heat 26-17. Since the Heat don't have any guaranteed contracts on their summer league roster, half their team left for Vegas to continue their quest to make an NBA Training Camp this fall. Not surprisingly, high-flyer DJ Stephens stuck around and led the Heat in scoring.
Stephens had multiple high-flying dunks to lead the Heat in scoring with 9 points on the quarter and added a sensational block and a 3 pointer to the mix. Stephens absolutely looks like a player the Heat will keep around if they have room for him, especially if he can keep hitting outside shots while skying a combine record 46 inches into the air.
Pistons 1st Quarter Highlights
- Andre Drummond displayed a talent that many of us would love to see consistently this season: a 15 foot set shot. Off a pass from Lucious, Andre knocked down a 15 footer from the elbow with confidence. Maybe he should look at shooting his free throws similarly.
- KCP hit another one of those smooth transition 3s fed surprisingly by Korie Lucious
- On the opening tip, it appeared that Andre and Tony Mitchell had something planned. Andre slapped the ball upcourt to a waiting Tony Mitchell, but before they could get anything going, Mitchell turned the ball over leading to DJ Stephens 1st dunk of the day.
- Lucious actually did a respectable job getting the team into their offense, even if he did consistently over-dribble.
- Andre really focused on using his size to over-power in the post, but unfortunately it didn't lead to any points.
Pistons 2nd Quarter Highlights
- At around 4 minutes left in the 2nd, a funny instance under the basket happened when two lone Piston bigs fought with each other over a rebound...with no one around them. It seems Tony and Andre each really wanted that essentially free rebound to pad their already solid stats on the day.
- Speaking of Tony Mitchell, he had a very solid 2nd quarter. A couple of rebounds and at least 6 points in the quarter, he made an impact at both ends of the floor.
- KCP continued his aggressive play at one point showing an ability to get into the paint, and finish over DJ Stephens. He also worked the defensive glass skying for rebounds over Miami's athletic frontcourt.
- KCP finished the half playing the best basketball of his young career with 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists on 4/6 shooting.
Pistons 3rd Quarter Highlights
- Ummmm...Vince Ellis is a very tiny man. Just as the 3rd quarter was about to start, Vince stepped in for some guest commentary and most of what he said was stuff we all have heard before, but good lord he looked tiny.
- Mo Cheeks seemed to break his own rule with regards to Gymwear. He was sporting a stylish blue and white vertical striped button down shirt but I couldn't spot any Pistons logo on that there shirt.
- With a beautiful dish from Evans to Drummond to Mitchell inside the paint, Tony had a solid throwdown giving him 10 points early on in the 3rd quarter.
- The lack of Siva really started to show in the 3rd where Lucious lost just about any ability to get the ball into the paint on offense while allowing his man to get into the paint with ease.
- KCP showed a BEAUTIFUL drive to the hoop finishing with a high floater off the glass to get his shot over DJ Stephens. Anyone questioning whether this kid can be more than just a 3 point threat/defensive specialist might be reconsidering after today's game.
- Peyton Siva played it smart and took a seat next to Coach Roscoe for the entire game. Definitely looked like he was picking up some good advice from Detroit's newest and most handsome coach.
- Andre had another one of his patented pick-a-point-guard's pocket finishing with a thunderous dunk.
- At the end of the 3rd quarter, Andre knocked down another 15 foot jumper from the elbow with assist to EJ Singler. Drummond took both of these shots with extreme confidence.
Pistons 4th Quarter Highlights
- Andre Drummond sat out the entire quarter with the Pistons up 8 to start. In the first 3 quarters, Andre tallied 15 points and 14 rebounds on 6 of 7 shooting.
- Korie Lucious is just, well, how do I put this nicely...he's an undersized point guard that doesn't really do anything point guardy.
- The Pistons saw themselves on the business end of a 13 point swing this quarter to ultimately lose 90-85.
- Mitchell had arguably one of the most impressive alley oop dunks I think I've seen in a long time. EJ Singler tossedit up with Mitchell almost behind the backboard, and Mitchell corralled it, and semi-reverse dunked it with his head directly under the rim.
What's not to like about this game other than the outcome? At Orlando Summer League, we Pistons fans care more about our players than we do about some inconsequential Puppy Point Championship.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope showed off his scoring ability with 20 points, and did so in a variety of ways with only 3 of his 14 attempts coming from beyond the arc. He also added 5 rebounds and 4 assists to go with his 7 of 14 shooting on the day. At least 2 of those rebounds came on the offensive end and led to tip-ins for KCP. Tony Mitchell put up his best game of the OSL being aggressive on both ends of the floor and finishing with 19 points on 7-10 shooting to go along with 6 boards. Andre Drummond impresses with 15 points and 14 boards in 25 minutes. Had he had the chance to play in the 4th, he likely could have gone after his own recently set record of 18 boards and perhaps the first 20/20 game in OSL history. The only disappointment was not getting to see Siva play in one more game. If you watched even a single game, you'd agree that finding a way to keep Siva on this roster this year could prove to pay off.
For those of you who opted to buy the NBA Summer League access on NBA.com, I highly recommend going back to watch this game if you haven't already. Just like the first match up between Miami and Detroit, this game was filled with highlight reel dunks, blocks, and oops. As we look forward, I can't think of a better note to end on. This game should be a major confidence builder for KCP and Tony Mitchell as they head into their summer training routines, and hopefully the kind of proof that Peyton Siva needs to land a reserve role on our roster next season.