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Good news: Kim English and Khris Middleton look great in D-League debuts

Guest writer Jameson Draper watched Pistons rookies Kim English and Khris Middleton during their D-League debuts tonight while the rest of us were being crossed over by Joe Johnson. Here are his thoughts on their performances. Thanks to Jameson for helping out with this and check out his work at Banks of the Red Cedar and The Only Colors. — P.H.

In their first game for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the D-League after being sent down from the Pistons, rookies Khris Middleton and Kim English shined despite losing to the Maine Red Claws, 107-104.

The best part about watching this game was simply seeing the guys from the NBA that we haven’t really seen a lot of yet get a significant amount of playing time.

Middleton played almost 32 minutes, grabbing nine rebounds and scoring 19 points.  The most positive thing about Middleton is probably the fact that he looked good shooting and good on the glass, keeping the Mad Ants in the game, but the worst part of his game was that he had three fouls and made a poor decision on a fast break early in the game, deciding to try to keep it instead of passing it to a wide open English.

English had more playing time, racking up almost 40 minutes on the floor. He got only six rebounds but dropped 24 points, and he made some nice moves at the basket along with showing great court vision. He looked like a veteran among the other D-League players out there. English actually looks like he could be really successful in the NBA. His scoring abilities were great, he can shoot threes and, like I said, drives to the hoop well and can draw fouls. I can see him being a part of the normal rotation before the end of this season.

The most exciting part for Pistons fans came when the Mad Ants were down by nine and needed two quick threes to get them back in the game. English and Middleton hit them back-to-back. Although Fort Wayne still lost, it was nice to see these players come up big in a late game scenario.

English and Middleton get a chance to build on their promising starts tomorrow against Springfield at 7:30 p.m. The game will be streamed on the D-League’s YouTube channel.


  • Dec 15, 20121:09 am


    thank you guys for posting this….

  • Dec 15, 20121:51 am


    English really does look like a pro…even on defense you can hear he talking and putting players in the right position… Also he made some nice passes… English is just a leader…I hope they sent him to the D-league for him to get his legs so that he can replace Maggett in the rotation Grade A

    Middleton Mid-Range game is much better than I thought, and a good mid-range game is effective in the D-league the same as it is in the NBA…but defensively he has a tend to reach a little…I dont know if its because he doesnt play much or just poor technique, however he played a nice game…. Grade A -


    • Dec 15, 201210:18 am
      by sebastian


      I HATE FRANK, too, I would go a step further, regarding English, I would like to see him starting at the SG position and still keep Stuckey in the his bully guard, 6th-man first guard off the bench role.
      I believe that English is one of those guys, if given the time could prove to be a very solid pro and a guy who plays well with others on both sides of the floor.
      Singler would make a fantastic 8th/9th-man.

      • Dec 15, 20123:22 pm
        by Patrick Hayes


        “Singler would make a fantastic 8th/9th-man.”

        Yeah, make him the 8th/9th man when he’s been overall the fifth or sixth best player they put on the court this season. Makes total, reasonable sense. 

  • Dec 15, 20124:28 am
    by Vince


    Middleton keeps surprising me for the better, and ffs can English replace some of the ass hats on the bench. Looking at you Daye, Bynum and Maggette.


  • Dec 15, 20128:25 am
    by ryan


    First of all thanks for putting the link up there. I’d been wanting to catch this game but couldn’t remember how to do that.
    Second both guys showed me that they’ve got some decent skills especially smooth strokes. I hope we see both of them playing for Detroit soon.

  • Dec 15, 20129:20 am
    by pistonsPoland DEL


    great news! I dont think Middleton can be a useful rotation player, unless he can develop his defense. A LOT !

    But Kim English should play right now. Maggette is with Pistons only because he has a big 1 year contract, and there is no chance, he will play in Detroit next season, so Frank please give all Maggette minutes to Kim English. 

  • Dec 15, 201211:33 am
    by Vic


    2 things I noticed just glancing at different various parts of the game:
    - I wish nba announcers cracked old man jokes like that, they are kind if funny

    - looking at a couple minutes here and there, probably like 10 total- I saw Middleton drop 3 dimes and the player couldn’t cash. He could have had a triple double, He’s definitely an NBA player. Defense will get better with strength and experience. The talent is there.

    - English got a little wild at times but he’s definitely a shooter and a leader

  • Dec 15, 20122:19 pm
    by Pratik


    Good stuff from the young guns. Unfortunately, we will probably have to wait till next season to see both of these players have an impact and significant minutes on this current roster. Unless, Tayshaun/Corey Maggette, Charlie V, and Jason Maxiell magically disappear. If were all happy with Stuckey coming off the bench as our PG, I’d like to see Kim English (after proving himself) start at the 2. And either have Singler switch to the 3 (although he’s been horrible the past 2 weeks or so) or Middleton play the 3. Drummond needs to start at center, and Slava needs to start getting minutes behind him. Our future lineup could look like Knight, English, Singler/Middleton, Monroe, and Drummond (that is a good offensive and defensive lineup with Drummond, English being good defenders, and the other 3 can score).
    Also, speaking about trade ideas:
    how does trading Tayshaun/Maxiell for Devin Harris to ATL sound? Is this possible Dan/Patrick in terms of contracts/and other possible restrictions? I’ve just been watching ATL play a lot this season (they look great), but they have both Lou Wiliams and Devin Harris coming off the bench and Teague is starting. I think Tay can start over D. Stevenson and Devin Harris really needs to prove himself and needs to find a home (he’s moved around a lot). Unless were invested in Knight as PG of the future, I really think Harris could start alongside him and we can play two point guards. This would also allow Singler to shift to the 3 position, and Monroe to the 4, and Drummond as our starting center, with Stuckey off the bench, Charlie V backing up Monroe, Slava getting minutes behind Drummond, and Kim English and Middleton getting some playing time (hopefully Frank has the decision making skills to make these changes and sit Maggette alongside Daye and Will Bynum). How does this sound? Want hear your thoughts. Thanks for the post!

  • Dec 15, 20124:11 pm
    by baines


    I believe English or Middleton need to be considered for a rotation spot in the near future.

  • Dec 15, 20125:29 pm
    by jerrific


    Glad to see the young guys are getting experience somewhere.  On a side note, I love the new layout. This is way more cell-phone friendly than before. 

  • Dec 15, 20128:03 pm
    by Ryan Kelly


    Yeah would love to see English replace maggette in the lineup.  Weird thing is English didn’t really do anything that bad to get put out of the rotation.  He shoulda been playing more from day 1.   Seems like frank just trying to win games and trusts the veterans over young guys.  Which in general is understandable.  Problem is our vets stink.  

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