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Orlando Summer League: Pistons vs. Heat preview and GameThread

The marquee matchup pits two oft-compared small forwards in Johnson and Winslow.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Game Vitals

Where: Amway Center practice arena

When: July 6, 2015, 5PM ET

Watch: NBA TV

Exceptionally Detailed Analysis

After a terrible performance in the first outing against the Magic White squad, the Pistons bounced back with a comprehensive win over the Los Angeles Clippers, 77-69.  The scoreboard was closer than the match, as the Pistons never really looked troubled throughout the game, and led by double-digits for most of the game until a late Clippers push saw the margin dip under 10.  Besides the overall win, the Pistons also won 3 of the 4 quarters, meaning they collected 7 out of a possible 8 puppy points to jump up to third in the standings with 8 total points, although several teams have only played 1 game (the Pistons' rest day will be Tuesday).

As expected, Bob Beyer changed up his starting lineup for the Clippers matchup, electing to swap Stanley Johnson in for Darrun Hilliard, as well as starting with David Wear and Jared Berggren in the middle as opposed to Justin Harper and Adam Kemp.  Spencer Dinwiddie and Adonis Thomas both started for the second game in a row, but the starting lineup was weak scoring wise, except for one Stanley Johnson.

The brash rookie put on a show, finishing with 24 points on a very efficient 10-14 shooting line (3-5 from the charity stripe), while also pulling down 9 rebounds and snatching 3 steals.  He was rugged on the inside, and finished with 3 offensive boards and did well to convert his put-back attempts while being fouled on numerous occasions.  He even got into a little bit of a back-and-forth with Clippers guard Geron Johnson, who was physical and in Stanley's face all day.  Stanley didn't back down from the challenge, a reaffirmation of his mantra of not letting anybody punk him.

The other main contributor on offense was a surprise source in Grand Rapids Drive forward Kammeon Holsey, who was the only other Piston in double figures, finishing with 16 points on 7-9 shooting, in only 22 minutes.  He showed a nice midrange touch as well as a strong finishing game around the basket.  However, he didn't pull down any defensive boards (3 offensive), and needs to convert his free throws (2-4).  He may have also been fresher than the others due to the fact that he didn't appear in the first game against the Magic.

The other two Pistons roster guys, Darrun Hilliard and Spencer Dinwiddie had so-so outings.  Hilliard finished with 9 points, including a three pointer which won the third quarter, but he only shot it 3-10 for the afternoon.  He did manage to snag 3 rebounds though.  Dinwiddie continues to struggle so far in the tournament.  He finished with 5 points on 1-6 shooting (0-3 from three) and 6 assists, but also collected 6 turnovers whilst again being outplayed by a D-League guard, this time Grand Rapids Drive member Nate Wolters, former second round pick of the Milwaukee Bucks.  Van Gundy will unlikely make a roster decision on Dinwiddie based on his outing thus far, but he isn't really winning himself any regular season minutes with his play thus far.

The Miami Heat enter the game on the back of a 71-70 win over the Brooklyn Nets, with the game winning layup being made by Tyler Johnson on an alley-oop play with 0.4 seconds left.  The pass was delivered by none other than Justise Winslow, who finished the game with 14 points, despite only shooting 3-10 from the field and 0-5 from three. The majority of his points came at the FT line where he made 8-12.  He did some other nice things though, such as grabbing 5 rebounds (after going rebound-less in the first game) and dishing 4 assists.  He did have 5 turnovers though.  The Heat were also helped by former Drive center Willie Reed who had 17 points on 8-12 shooting and 9 rebounds (6 offensive).  The Heat also feature former Michigan State star Travis Trice, who only played 5 minutes and missed all 3 three-pointers he attempted.

Players to Watch

Pistons: Stanley Johnson

Heat: Justise Winslow

The first real battle at the next level between the two oft-compared small forwards will go down tonight.  Both men have plenty to prove, but for different reasons.  Johnson will be out to prove that the Pistons were right to snare him at #8 instead of going for perhaps the more glamorous prospect in Winslow.  Winslow, meanwhile, will be out to prove to not only Detroit but the other 8 teams who passed on him what idiots they were, and show what they're missing out on.  Hopefully both coaches don't spring any surprises and ruin this matchup for the fans.

Score Prediction

This will be incredibly tight.  The Heat have a really strong summer league roster including Winslow, but also Tyler Johnson, Zoran Dragic, James Ennis and Willie Reed.  Shabazz Napier is also on the roster but has missed all the games so far through injury, and the word is that that will be the case again tonight.  Because I don't like the Heat, I think the Pistons will win in a close one.

Pistons 76, Heat 73

Lineup Prediction

In the first game, Johnson started on the bench in favor of Hilliard and Adonis Thomas.  Next, Hilliard started on the pine.  I think Beyer will change it up again and bring Adonis Thomas off the bench.

Dinwiddie, Hilliard, Johnson, Harper, Berggren

Lastly, enjoy what should be a cracking matchup today.  Feel free to discuss the game below.