2013 Southwest Orlando Pro Summer League: Miami's Kennedy Comes Through in Clutch
By Dan Savage
July 12, 2013
ORLANDO -- For a player trying to make a roster, the 2013 Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League is all about trying to make an impact and putting positive plays on film.
On the final day of summer league action, Miami’s D.J. Kennedy did just that. Not only did the forward out of St. John’s, who’s spent time in the D-League as well as with Cavs, post quality numbers, he also came through with a fantastic finish.
Kennedy capped off an 11-point performance by attacking the rim against the defensively dominant Andre Drummond and scoring the go-ahead floater with 15.6 seconds left to lift the Heat over the Detroit Pistons for a 90-85 victory on Friday.
“I knew he was under the rim and going to try and block it, so I just tried to get it up high,” Kennedy explained. “I was able to get enough under it and able to get it to go in.”
For a player, who went mostly unnoticed all week, it was exactly the type of ending he needed to try to catch on to an NBA roster.
“It felt good being able to show people what’s there,” he said. “I didn’t have the week I expected, but I understand that you have to keep fighting through it, stay positive and I was able to finish strong.”
Miami’s offense also received a big boost from Ian Clark, an undrafted free agent out of Belmont, who finished a sensational summer league with a team-high 18 points and seven assists.
The Pistons may not have ended the 2013 Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League with a win, but in terms of progress, Detroit had an optimal week.
2013 first round pick Kentavious Caldwell-Pope steadily improved and Andre Drummond, the ninth overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, was consistently dominant.
“(We accomplished) everything we wanted to accomplish as far as getting better from day one to here,” said Pistons coach Maz Trakh.
Caldwell-Pope delivered his best performance of the week, notching 20 points, five rebounds and four assists.
“I talked about player development in the beginning of the week and you saw it out of KCP,” Trakh added.
Drummond once again shined, delivering a commanding 15-point and 14-board performance for the Pistons.
“I think if you’ve seen what he’s done this week, you have to be really, really happy if you’re a Detroit Pistons fan,” said Trakh of Drummond’s performance.
Detroit’s offense was balanced throughout as all five starters scored in double figures.
2013 second round pick Tony Mitchell notched 16 points and six rebounds, Ryan Evans scored a game-high 19 and Korie Lucious added 12 points and six assists.
Miami notched a 3-2 record during the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League, while Detroit finished 2-3.