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Kyle Singler, Andre Drummond, Kim English try and build on strong performances in Summer League opener

It’s fair to say the Kyle Singler, Andre Drummond and Kim English rookie trio were pretty impressive in the summer league opener yesterday. The challenge, though, is consistency and although no one would complain about one strong performance, stringing together two or three or four will tell us a lot more about their NBA readiness. Hopefully, today’s game against the Orlando Magic at 3 p.m.

Today’s test will include Orlando’s first round draft pick Andrew Nicholson, who had 24 points and 12 rebounds in the team’s win yesterday. The Magic also have Kyle O’Quinn, who many Pistons fans still wish the team had drafted in the second round.

Feel free to leave your comments and observations here throughout the game. Also, here are some links if you’re interested in some pregame reading:

31 Comments

  • Jul 10, 20122:48 pm
    by sop

    Reply

    English looks good but Middleton has always been suspect in my book. He barely made my top 60 this year due to his lack of go to moves and only average athleticism. Regardless of his injury hampered Senior year, his Junior year wasn’t all that impressive either. O’Quinn, Doron Lamb, Will Barton, and Tyshawn Taylor would all have been preferable.

    • Jul 10, 20122:59 pm
      by bugsygod

      Reply

      Whats with the obession with players we dont have?? I dont get it??  We have a young aggresive intense young team on the rise.  Lets focus on our own players not sumbody else’s!

      • Jul 10, 20123:17 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        Not trying to start a fight here or anything with this question, I’m just curious: why is any criticism, no matter how respectful, out of bounds in your book? Sop’s comment wasn’t negative. It wasn’t out of line. He simply raised a reasonable point. Your reaction treats it like it’s a completely irrational, out of line point to bring up.

        The Middleton pick was a gamble. As Sop points out, most draft analysts didn’t project him to go as high as he did. On top of that, as Sop also points out, there were several prospects still on the board who were considered to be significantly better players than Middleton.

        Now, Dumars and the Pistons might know something others didn’t with Middleton. He might be a real find who was underrated. But he was also a gamble, because there were other players who most had concluded were better on the board. So taking Middleton was a risk that certainly opens the team up for second guessing if it doesn’t work out. It would be different to criticize a pick who was obvious at that spot, but that’s not what is happening here. The Pistons reached for a guy with other talent on the board, and he plays the deepest position on the roster, so there’s a chance he might not even make the team. If he doesn’t, it’s fair to question the reasoning in picking him. If you gamble and it pays off, it’s great. If you gamble and it doesn’t work out, then you deserve all the criticism that comes your way. If Middelton isn’t as ready to play as some of those guys picked behind him, that selection will rightfully be questioned.

        • Jul 10, 20124:37 pm
          by bugsygod

          Reply

          There are reasons to critize things DEFINITLY!  My point for SOP was that, NONE of these players has played a game in the NBA.  So to say that SOP did not have middleton in his top 60??  Is SOP a draft guru now? So the guys he named, oquinn, lamb, barton are going to make the nba and show that they should have been taken ahead of middleton??? IDK?  Patrick you did a column before the draft about how 2nd rd picks are gambles and MOST do not pan out, SO OF COURSE MIDDLETON IS A GAMBLE.  Hell Dan said that Drummond was a gamble as alot of lottery picks dont pan out…… An this is not just for sop, but many commenters are always fascinated with the players we traded, didnt draft or who left in free agency.  Instead of daye we should have taken lawson, instead of summers we should have taken blair, etc.  It gets to a point where its seems ppl are Looking for reason to critize.  I remember when stafford on the lions came out and many commenters where saying they should have taken the LB CUrry, well Stafford is relly good and Curry is on his 2nd team in 4ys.  I LOVE our draft the last two years, of knight, singler, drummond and english.  I believe that is 4 out of 6!  Which is Damn good picking in my book.  So instead of focusing on middleton or macklin lets look at knight, drummond, singler and english and give Joe D his credit for drafting well!    Also you mentioned taking Middleton at a position that is loaded, well um the Big positions are loaded as well!  So in 2nd rd you taken best talent available, which the Pistons managment(who have been drafting pretty darn good) thought was a talent they needed.  NO Question Joe should be critized for bg, cv, darko, cleaves, rodney white! 

          • Jul 10, 20125:06 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Bottom line: Middleton was a questionable pick at the time because the Pistons had ample SF depth, he’s not a good 3-point shooter (which they need) and Ford, DraftExpress, etc. didn’t have him projected to go nearly as early as the Pistons took him.

            The pick is even more questionable now, considering Middleton hasn’t performed well through two preseason games and, because they will need a roster spot for Ben Wallace, he might end up getting cut if they can’t make a trade to open up a spot.

          • Jul 10, 20128:47 pm
            by Bugsygod

            Xcellent point max. Agree Patrick that Middleton does not look good. However this is what most ppl asked for a big an two wings. Need to add athletism and speed. We did all know every second rd pick is a gamble. So what’s the point of the critism? “Ha Ha you made bad pick.” “You big dummy why didn’t u pick so n so”. Constructive critism is when you hope or plan to get a positive result. A change for the better. “hey Drummond if you hold the ball a lil to the left that may help you” “daye I need you to bust your ass back on every play”. So sometimes I don’t see the point of the comments? Fire Dumars? Say pistons suck? I just want the team to win another championship an this team is getting the talent to do it. We’re not gonna be right all the time but that’s the goal. A championship!

            I’m glad we picked Monroe an not Ed Davis. I’m glad we drafted Brandon knight instead of Kemba walker. I’m glad we drafted Drummond instead of Myers Leonard

          • Jul 10, 20129:38 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            @bugsy:

            But this is the thing … look back at the original argument. It didn’t say Dumars is bad at drafting. It didn’t say that the Pistons haven’t made some fine picks over the years. It didn’t say that they have no prospects on the roster that fans should be excited about.

            It said the Middleton pick, by itself, was a questionable choice. That’s not cherry picking or looking back with hindsight and criticizing. That pick happened just recently. He was picked much higher than most thought he would go. He was picked with better players who play his position still on the board. That’s what make the pick a reach and a questionable.

            If the goal was to get two wings and let them fight it out for one roster spot, then great. If that’s your strategy, do it. But you should also take the best wing players available with each pick if that’s your strategy. It was a reach, and if Middleton does indeed end up not making the roster, that reach is going to justifiably be considered a poor decision. Not a crippling decision, not a decision that says Dumars drafts bad or anything like that. But it was an opportunity to possibly get a better player that was missed.

          • Jul 11, 20127:05 am
            by Bugsygod

            But Patrick you keep mentioning lamb an Barton they would duplicate English not Middleton. Look at their size. Lamb 6’4 Barton barely 6’6. Neither of those guys plays or can play SF. Middleton is 6’8 so he can swing between SF an SG. If you go back an look at the picks after Middleton he was the last guy at that size. So I’m not sure it’s as questionable a pick as you think. But if the gamble doesn’t pay off who cares we got plenty of other guys!

        • Jul 10, 20124:51 pm
          by bugsygod

          Reply

          Also you didnt point out the mistakes made by SOP, middleton was a Junior this year, coming off injury, not senior.  So can we really trust his top 60?? or player analysis??  Most expert analysis had middleton as 1st pick after his sophmore year!  Just the facts sir.

          • Jul 10, 20125:16 pm
            by Max

            It may well be that Dumars did not envision both of his second round choices making the squad and drafted two players in English and Middleton that would have to fight it out during the summer league for one spot.  In such a case, there would be no cause for criticism if Middleton fails to make the team.

          • Jul 10, 20129:34 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            That may have been the case. In fact, I don’t fault that strategy necessarily — double up on a position hoping that one of the two pans out. But there would still be cause for criticism since there were wings like Doron Lamb and Will Barton for example who were significantly better players and prospects than Middleton. This isn’t hindsight. This is using the data that was available. I have yet to find one mock draft or scout who writes about the draft who had Middleton in the same tier as Baron/Lamb.

  • Jul 10, 20122:56 pm
    by bugsygod

    Reply

    Joe Dumars for Executive of the Year ’12-’13!  Another Great draft w/ AD1 looking like a future Defensive beast, English aggresive defense and really good shooter rotation guy.  Singler is considered a rookie since he didnt play last year and again he looks like a strong rotation player.  Traded BG and created 20mil in cap space for summer ’13 which is expected to be a strong FA year.  Gotta see the Ukraine center first, but from all reports tough athletic shot blocker.  I see Orlando, Atlanta and Sixers having a real hard time making playoffs next year, with Howard out of O, Joe J out of ATL and Sixers losing their leading scorer Williams and there best post player Brand.  Nets should be much improved even if they dont get Dwight.  So i see pistons fighting for playoff spots 6-8.  Mia, Bulls, Boston, Pacers, Knicks look to be locks for playoffs. 
    *
    One other thing i love the players AGGRESIVENESS!!  This is going to be one intense Nasty team to play!

    • Jul 10, 20123:34 pm
      by Crispus

      Reply

      I think the Bulls will be down there with us fighting for the last spots. I live in Chicago and the local mood is pretty glum with the Rose-Deng-Asik stuff. Most people here seem to hate Carlos Boozer and it looks like he’ll be the team leader for the early part of the season.

    • Jul 10, 20124:19 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      Dumars gave up a potential lottery pick to rid himself of a terrible contract that he signed while bidding against no one, He also drafted Middleton instead of several higher rated prospects that also play a position of more need than Middleton does. The Ukraine guy plays very limited minutes oversees, and adding him means that if Ben comes back the team will likely have to cut Middleton. Considering he could have had O’Quinn to do everything the Ukrainian does while also showing signs of an actual offensive game instead of wasting a pick on Middleton, that doesn’t look so good to me. Sorry, so far it doesn’t look like executive of the year material. The team’s future looks brighter now than it did at this time last year, but let’s not pretend like Dumars is absolutely killing it.

      • Jul 10, 20124:47 pm
        by bugsygod

        Reply

        Dumars also drafted, singler, english, knight, monroe who ALL had questions coming out.  So are we going to talk about middleton as holding the team back?? So if Joe D drafts O’quinn with the 44th pick in the draft instead of middleton we are now in the playoffs??  really?? come on oats, think and look back at what you just said!  You take Slava because he has shown to be a capable player who provides what we need, shot blocking and toughness. you say he played limited minutes?? well he was player of the year in the league he played in.  Check your facts next time..Draftexpress has really good report on him.  Yes he gave up a POTENTIAL lottery pick for a Stupid contract he gave to BG, but if they make playoffs this year its not a lottery pick.  They would still have 20mil to spend in free agency next year, to get a top flight all star level SF.  So he made a mistake and then finally is able to correct the mistake.  Is there a GM who has not given out a stupid contract or made a personnel mistake??  So my point is the Pistons look to me as a young up and coming team, with lots of talent that i think will make the playoffs.  This is two years after the philly boycott and buffonery season.  Thats pretty damn good!

        • Jul 10, 20125:23 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          First, Kravstov played 22 minutes a game. He also put up a whopping 8 points and 4 rebounds in those 22 minutes. Not bad, but not really killing it. And 22 minutes a game is fairly limited minutes, although I’ll concede that it isn’t unusual for good Euros to play less than 25 minutes a game. The point is, Kravstov isn’t exactly killing it out there. Sure, he’s pretty good, but an 8 and 4 isn’t awesome. O’Quinn meanwhile put up a 16 and 10 in 31 minutes, and he also had an extra block a game. Plus, I literally just watched O’Quinn outplay Drummond. That says something for him, no?
           
          Secondly, I’m not saying passing on O’Quinn is holding us back. I’m saying to be executive of the year you have to, you know, do a really good job. Drummond and English were good picks, although Drummond is especially tough to give him extra points for considering the fact that Drummond dropped pretty hard for Dumars to get a chance at him. Not screwing that up is something I guess, but not really a huge positive. Botching the Middleton pick when there was plenty of NBA talent available is pretty bad. The BG trade is at best a draw for Dumars, and if that ends up as a lottery pick then he might flat out lose that trade.  My real point is not about Dumars making a bad personnel decision on BG, but rather that the he doesn’t get Executive of the Year consideration for giving up a valuable asset to lose a predictably negative asset.
           
          This should have been pretty obvious, but all I’m saying is Dumars is not an Executive of the Year candidate right now. English was a good pick, but there were plenty of talented guys to choose from. Drummond looks good, but he is a raw talent that has a lot of risks. There is reason Drummond slipped to 9, and while I think he makes sense at 9 I don’t think Dumars deserves a ton of credit for getting Drummond right around where most GMs thought he was no longer too risky. Middleton looks like a terrible pick. Kravstov might be a savvy signing, but it complicates a crowded roster, it might force us to dump one of our 8 or so SFs, and makes the Middleton pick look much worse. BG was moved by giving up a valuable asset, and that asset might end up having more value than the cap space we acquire from this move. None of these moves are Executive of the Year material. At best, this year he has been solid but not great. The Pistons look to be decent because Monroe was such a good pick, but that was 3 drafts ago and has no real bearing on whether Dumars deserves Executive of the Year for this season. That’s all I’m saying, Dumars is not having a great year just yet.

  • Jul 10, 20122:57 pm
    by Victor

    Reply

    I hope Middleton can play well today,

    • Jul 10, 20123:29 pm
      by Daye and Knight

      Reply

      Well…he aired his first shot lol

  • Jul 10, 20123:07 pm
    by Brendon

    Reply

    Andre Drummond made a FT?

  • Jul 10, 20123:21 pm
    by Brendon

    Reply

    Austin Daye looks a lot better today, he seems a little more aggressive on the offensive side, almost like he actually wants minutes this year.

  • Jul 10, 20123:25 pm
    by Daye and Knight

    Reply

    Daye on fire in Summer League? This looks…strangely familiar

  • Jul 10, 20123:51 pm
    by Victor

    Reply

    Dear Mr. Singler,

    please play like this in the regular season.

  • Jul 10, 20124:11 pm
    by Brendon

    Reply

    Daye is blazing hot today, i wish he could play like this in a season game.

  • Jul 10, 20124:13 pm
    by bvpiston

    Reply

    Daye’s on fire so far. He’s not a bad player, I think it’s all mental with him, he needs to figure it out and he’ll be ok. Probably not on our team, but somewhere else.

    • Jul 10, 20124:17 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Austin Daye is the best player in summer league history.

      • Jul 10, 20124:23 pm
        by bvpiston

        Reply

        Haha! Sadly, that’s probably true. That’s why I’m saying he’s got the skills to be decent, but something is holding him back. What a weird dude.

      • Jul 10, 20126:28 pm
        by apa8ren9

        Reply

        @Patrick, I think Anthony Randolph might disagree with that. LOL

        • Jul 10, 20129:39 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          True. Alando Tucker was an amazing summer league player too when he was with the Suns.

  • Jul 10, 20128:13 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    I didn’t like the Middleton pick at the time, and he’s not done anything to change my mind. However, the guy I wanted at 39 we got at 44 anyways, so I really could care less about the Middleton pick. If you have two 2nd round picks and even 1 of them pans out, its cause for celebration. To complain that both may not pan out is just expecting too much. And it looks like English is going to be good, so who cares about Middleton?

    Langlois said we would’ve takem O’Quinn instead of Middleton, but with Drummond and Karvstov there was no room for him anyways.

    I like O’Quinn, but lets be realistic, he’s probably at best Jason Maxiell type of backup. Backup bigs like are a dime a dozen. The only reason he looked so great in the 1st half today was because he’s a 4 yr college player going against an 18 yr old. And no one mentions that O’Quinn didn’t score and grabbed 0 rebounds in the 2nd half, of which Drummond was on him for 10 of those 20 minutes

    • Jul 10, 20129:43 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      In the long run, passing on O’Quinn for Middleton likely isn’t going to be some sort of organization crippling move. But you should never ever pass up the opportunity to upgrade talent. O’Quinn, in my opinion, has a much better shot at being a NBA rotation player someday than Middleton does.

      Also, the Langlois thing you quote makes no sense. The Pistons were too deep in the frontcourt to add O’Quinn, but their five guys already on the roster capable of playing small forward didn’t scare them off from taking Middleton? Small forward was easily their deepest position heading into the draft. Maybe not deep with quality players, but deep with guys under contract for next season.

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