clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2015 NBA Summer League: Stanley Johnson dominates, Pistons win 77-69

New, comments

The Pistons even up their Summer League record at 1-1 behind their 19 year old rookie with a win Sunday against the Clippers.

Elsa/Getty Images

Johnson was the youngest player on the court but consistently the best, looking every bit the part of a NBA player.

He showed an aggressive slashing ability, regularly attacking off the dribble to create for himself and his teammates. One of the aspects Johnson was criticized before the draft was his finishing ability, but he was able to power through in traffic, use a floater, and even flashed a nifty left-handed finish.

Johnson also wasn't particularly highly regarded as a ball handler, but he looked extremely comfortable as the focal point in the offense. He knocked down one three pointer off the pick and roll and generally looked better running the offense than the Pistons point guards. Johnson finished with a sterling box score, 24 points on a nifty 74 percent true shooting percentage, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, and two turnovers.

It was a dominant performance, but if you want to nitpick his game, the aspect where Johnson still showed room for improvement was off the catch-and-shoot. He finished with a respectable 1-3 finish from behind the arc, but when faced with the choice of an open shot or putting the ball on the floor, he typically opted for the latter. Stan Van Gundy's offense leans heavily on the catch-and-shoot, particularly outside of the Reggie Jackson-Andre Drummond pick and roll combination. But the team has also had a noticeable gap in the role of slasher on the wing, so Johnson's driving instincts could still play well for the team.

But as noticeable as Johnson's terrific play was Spencer Dinwiddie's struggles. For the second straight Summer League game, Dinwiddie failed to distinguish himself - at least in any good way. The box score sufficiently shows that both his shot and turnovers were off, but it was even worse than that.

He lost the backup job last year to John Lucas III due to his inability to push the ball up the court, and Sundiata Gaines was distinctly better in that regards today. He seemed to be thinking and sizing up the defense, rather than taking an approach that this is the Summer League and he's better than the guy defending him. The Summer League is a big opportunity in Dinwiddie making a claim for the backup point guard spot this season, and so far it's been a flop.

He still has plenty of potential. He's a steady presence and a good defensive player. He racked up 6 assists, and set his teammates up for even more good looks. But Dinwiddie just needs to show the ability to play with both aggressiveness and efficiency on a consistent basis before he's ever going to be contending for a rotation spot.

Darrun Hilliard flashed plenty of the role player, glue guy style that he was drafted for with the 38 pick. After a weak first summer league game, he bounced back with 9 points and 3 rebounds.

Adonis Thomas came out of the gates strong, but his jumper abandoned him as the game went on. There's still plenty to like about him when his shot isn't falling though, as he showed a willingness to defend and get on the floor for loose balls.

Detroit collected 3 of the 4 quarter wins, which helps determine the standings for the Summer League to decide who plays in the championship game. Teams receive four points for winning the game and one for winning a quarter.

The Pistons have two games remaining, the next coming tomorrow at 5 p.m. Eastern where Johnson will square off against his fellow lottery draft pick Justise Winslow.

Box Score