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Playoff Push: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

What is the No. 1 thing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope can do to step up and help the Pistons make the playoffs?

Find confidence on 3-pointers

Between summer league and preseason, Caldwell-Pope made just 15-of-63 3-pointers (23.8 percent). That won’t cut it.

Caldwell-Pope rebounds well for his position, but that doesn’t matter quite as much considering how well Detroit’s frontline rebounds (diminishing returns). He defends well for his age, but that doesn’t matter quite as much when veteran and contract-year motivated Rodney Stuckey is healthy.

Caldwell-Pope’s edge should be outside shooting, a skill the Pistons desperately need. If he can’t shoot better from the perimeter, he faces an uphill battle even to make the rotation this season.

-Dan Feldman

Be better than Trey Burke

JK JK. But seriously … if he’s better than Trey Burke, there might be a person or two in the front office who would appreciate that.

-Patrick Hayes

Mature, mentally and physically

I’m convinced Caldwell-Pope could become a really solid NBA shooting guard. At Georgia, he created his own shot, knocked down 3-pointers and defended effectively on the wing.

With Chauncey Billups the apparent starter at shooting guard, Caldwell-Pope will have a little time to improve his defensive rotations and blossom offensively. Caldwell-Pope is also rendered ineffective as soon as he takes contact. He must get a little stronger.

-Jameson Draper

Shoot confidently, defend well

Unlike the Pistons’ recent lottery picks, Caldwell-Pope enters his rookie year without the burden of massive expectations. If he focuses on his strengths, defending and shooting well, a merely solid output in those areas could make him the starter before the season ends.

A regular season like Spurs guard Danny Green’s would be a huge success.

-Brady Fredericksen


  • Oct 26, 20138:18 pm
    by MitchEPooh


    I remember draft night when everyone’s jaw dropped when KCP was announced. People even became angry. I saved my opinion until we found out more about this ” best player on a bad team from a lousy conference”. If he could hit the outside shot, we may have something. But watching him clank shot after shot in pre-season leads me to believe he may be a major bust. If he can’t shoot, he’s worthless. Put a body on him, he backs away. I have not seen one damned thing that looks encouraging. But how many minutes will he get if he brings nothing to the floor? Sadly, at this moment , Singler is the better option.

    • Oct 28, 20139:21 am
      by Some Dude


      Bust? c’mon man, you act like he’s the only rookie struggling. I’ve been observing all of the lottery picks, not like KCP is the only one having adjustment issues.

      And how’s this for encouraging… KCP went 1-16 from deep in the first three preseason games. Then, for the next five games, 7-16 (43%). He clearly improved as the preseason went on, and will continue you improve as the season goes on. At this point, KCP is better than Stuckey and Singler, and that’s not a knock on those guys. But you obviously didn’t do a lick of research on KCP’s progression.

      • Oct 28, 20133:17 pm
        by tarsier


        The book on KCP is far from closed. But given that he was quite a reach to begin with, it’s very disheartening to see him fail to reach his mediocre expectations.

  • Oct 27, 20131:19 am


    give us what shumpert gave the Knicks energy, defense, and some shooting

  • Oct 27, 20136:31 am
    by Derek AKA Redeemed


    In times past we’ve had guys who gives nothing if can’t make their jumper (Picture Daye, Villaneuva, and Jerebko). 

    In KCP we have a guy that plays hard in every game on both sides of the ball who also has a real talent for playing D. He’s been described as a Tony Allen/Bruce Bowen type of defender (Billups invoked those names). And as such he has a chance to be one of the better defenders in the league. 

    I’ve watched him get a steal and breakaway dunk in almost every game since summer league.  He rebounds at a high clip which helps cut down the other team’s positions. 

     The shot will come as he adjusts to the pro game. And when it does come, it will be hard to keep this guy out of the starting lineup. 

    He he reminds me of Sidney  Moncrief from back in the day and Iman Shumpert. 

    • Oct 27, 20138:48 pm
      by danny


      Thank you for saving me the time.

  • Oct 27, 20133:04 pm
    by frankie d


    Said it before and after the draft… i didnt see much, if any appreciable difference between kcp and a guy like tony snell.  This draft was deep in guys who do what kcp is supposed to do – shoot 3′s and defend wings – and i never underdtood the statheads’ love affair with kcp.  
    Detroit could have made the trade Minnesota made, picked up an extra first rounder and still got a guy – like snell- who can 3 and d.
    If kcp turns out to be rip with more range and better d -while snell is a bum – i will eat my words.  I doubt that is going to happen.

    • Oct 28, 20139:30 am
      by Some Dude


      Get out your bib and start chewing, there is a reason KCP went #8. I’d like to see Snell do anything close to what KCP has done. Snell hasn’t exactly impressed either in preseason, he’s been nowhere near as aggressive offensively or defensive like KCP has been. KCP is a stat sheet stuffer, he does everything. If you’re gonna compare Snell to KCP, then Snell is a lesser version of KCP.

  • Oct 27, 20134:52 pm
    by Corey


    I think KCP will turn into an excellent player. Most rookies take time adjusting to the nba 3 pt line and the speed of the game. Even if his 3pt shot never really comes around this season, it very likely will in season 2. Then we have a high energy, long, athletic, 3 pt shooting 2 guard- a perfect complement to a team built around 2 inside-scoring bigs. It’ll be nice if he contributes a lot this year, but it’s more about year 2+. 


    • Oct 27, 20137:58 pm
      by frankie d


      nothing but abject conjecture. you ar

    • Oct 28, 20139:33 am
      by Some Dude


      KCP shot 7-16 (43%) in the last five game of preseason, and clear improvement, and sign that he is starting to adjust to the NBA. If he gets consistent minutes this season, or takes over the starting roll, he will be a candidate for ROY.

      • Oct 28, 20139:34 am
        by Some Dude


        From 3-point range that is.

  • Oct 27, 20138:16 pm
    by frankie d


    to finish my post…
    you are certainly welcome to your opinion, but we will ultimately see if kcp is a good enough to justify detroit NOT doing what minnesota did.
    imho, it would have been a no-brainer: get the second first rounder, take a guy like snell or maybe the russian kid cleveland drafted, karsov or whatever his name was, and you have a second first rounder as an asset.
    chicago obviously liked snell and their track record is a heckuva lot better in recent years, as far as identifying talent and fit.  snell had a pretty nice game when detroit played the bulls this preseason.
    so, we shall see what happens over the next 5 years or so.  i would have been much happier if detroit had picked up another first rounder, still picked up a wing shooter like snell and had another shot to get another young talent.
    i just havent seen that kcp is all that.

    • Oct 28, 20138:56 am
      by tarsier


      That might have made sense if there wasn’t such a good prospect still on the board. But BUrke was there. Better to get one good prospect than two decent prospects.

      • Oct 28, 201312:43 pm
        by frankie d


        I would have taken burke.  But if you were going to pass on him why reach for a guy like kcp when you could have accumulated more assets – like another first rounder – and still drafted someone who was as good or better later.  And kcp better be a much bettet plsyer than snell…or karasov or solomon hill.  There is supposed to be a reason heis drafted 8 while other guys went 10…15 spots lower.

    • Oct 28, 20139:41 am
      by Some Dude


      frankie d talks like just making a trade here and there is as easy as 1,2,3. And enough about Snell, you’re obsessed with him. He’s no better than KCP, and you can’t use that game against the Bulls to judge anything. Snell hit 2-4 from deep, big whoop. Other than that stat, KCP has him beat at everything else, KCP is the better talent. KCP is progressively improved in each game. Yes he still struggles at certain things, but his improvements are clear as well. He’s done will in that last five preseason games. That will carry over to the regular season. And with Stuckey possibly missing a couple games, KCP will get his chance to show his worth.

  • Oct 28, 201311:18 pm
    by Jodi "The Guru" Jezz


    KCP is 6th man material, nothing more…I like the kid though, he plays hard every play and plays defense…You gotta respect that…

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