Based on roster, the Detroit Pistons Orlando Summer League squad opened up its Summer League against possibly the weakest team. In a back and forth game, the Pistons came up short, losing 87-76. In the race for Puppy Points, the Pistons only garnered one.
The game was ugly from the start. Pistons win tap, turn it over on Darrun Hilliard travel. Pistons get a stop, Spencer Dinwiddie turns it over in what looked like a flop, that leads to a breakaway dunk. Pistons come back down, Dinwiddie passes it in to Adam Kemp, and he throws it away. You kind of knew how this game was going to go.
Stanley Johnson did not get the start (he will in later games). It was speculated that he was fatigued after having had two-a-day practices the last three days. The only point the Pistons would win was the second quarter. That was thanks in large part to Johnson. Not that he scored the ball or was a hound defensively, but his playmaking ability. Johnson came on with just over three minutes to play in the first quarter and played most of the second. On the half he was +17, the highest in the game.
Johnson would have himself quite a nice debut. He would should 5-for-8 overall (1-for-2 from distance) but only go 2-for-5 from the charity stripe (where he missed the free throws to complete two three-point-play opportunities). He would also finish the game with four rebounds, three assists and a steal. It was evident that Johnson can handle the ball and that he used to play point guard, which is what the Pistons need.
Hilliard on the other hand did not have such a great game. After his travel to start the game, he did hit a nice three pointer after retaining the ball in a 50-50 situation. But after that, he would only shoot 1-for-9. Many of his shots looked short, probably a symptom of the two-a-day practices. He would also contribute three rebounds and an assist.
Dinwiddie did not have that great of a game either. Bolstered by his 6-for-8 from the line, he did end with 14 points on 4-for-10 shooting (missed both of his threes). He did contribute four rebounds and three assists, but also committed six turnovers and had eight fouls. It was pretty evident that he was trying to push it a little too hard. Dinwiddie is looking to use Summer League to prove himself to Stan Van Gundy, so this may not be a lone occurrence of him pushing it.
One surprise, to some, was the play of Adonis Thomas. Thomas was with the Grand Rapids Drive last year and played well. He is trying to secure himself a roster spot which may come down to him, Reggie Bullock and Danny Granger, the last two acquired in a trade from Phoenix last week. He would finish the game with 17 points on 7-for-14 shooting. He was 3-for-4 from distance, contributed three rebounds and an assist. Play like that looks promising (unless he's this year's Austin Daye).
The Pistons play again Sunday at 1:00 PM EST against the Los Angeles Clippers.