The purpose of summer league exhibition games isn't to be satisfied collecting puppy points and winning meaningless games, but to see what kind of players you have heading into training camp and development in draft picks. After Monday evening's 78-73 loss to the Miami Heat, the Pistons have to be encouraged by the early returns on Stanley Johnson.
Johnson outplayed the guy Chad Ford and many others thought the Pistons should've drafted at No. 8 overall, Justise Winslow, in a far more limited role. Winslow was featured by the Heat offense, putting up 15 shots in 33 minutes of action, but he only converted five shots and didn't attempt a single three-pointer. He finished with 17 points.
Johnson on the other hand had three fewer points, but only needed five shot attempts, three of which were from long distance. He also had seven rebounds, two steals, including one late to keep the Pistons in the game, and a help-side block on Winslow (GET THAT WEAK ISH OUT OF HERE!)
Johnson looked like the more polished player in my eyes. One sequence in particular stuck out to me in which Johnson, who started on the left block, grabbed a rebound that caromed off to the right, dribbled to half court and made a really slick one-handed peripheral-look pass down low that an NBA player would've finished for any easy basket. Not only is he shooting the lights out in three games (70 percent!), he seems to be very well-rounded. The total package thus far.
A look at Stanley Johnson and Justise Winlsow through Summer League so far. Johnson tearing it up. pic.twitter.com/QQhLz6i00N— Pistons Nation (@Piston_Nation) July 6, 2015
(Note: Johnson only has six total assists, so he's averaging two per game. Thanks to Jason B. for the heads up.)
As for the rest of the game, here's the box score. The Pistons are off on Tuesday and back at it on Wednesday.
Some bullets below.
- Darrun Hilliard had 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting (2-4 from deep). It's pretty clear who the three NBA players are on the Pistons' roster.
- Ha, Winslow said that it's ultimately about winning games ... in summer league.
- The Pistons took a lot of threes (20) and hit 45 percent of them, which was better than their overall field goal percentage (43).
- Tyler Kalinoski for the Heat is a fellow Davidson College grad (STEPH CURRY) and held his own in 35 minutes.
- Josh Smith got fat!