Summer League Recap: Pistons 85, Grizzlies 82

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By Josh Cohen
July 6, 2014

ORLANDO -- Every year at Summer League there is that one player that makes it known they have significantly improved from the prior season. It’s already apparent after two games that man is Detroit’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who had two outstanding performances this weekend.

Caldwell-Pope carried the Pistons – with his 30 points (10-of-20 shooting from field) and 12 rebounds – to a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday. Detroit is 2-0 and will have Monday to rest before returning on Tuesday against the Miami Heat.

New head coach Stan Van Gundy must be ecstatic about the burgeoning progress of Caldwell-Pope, who was selected eighth overall in the 2013 NBA Draft out of Georgia. The Pistons are desperate for improved 3-point shooting. They were next to last in 3-point percentage last season and were also near the bottom in total triples made.

The plan is to form something similar to what Van Gundy had in Orlando, which was utilize a budding youth athletic center and surround him with reliable shooters. We already know Andre Drummond is coming in his own as a dominant big man. It’s now up to that coaching staff to find the right blend of talent on the perimeter to complement him.

"He (Stan) always just told me to stay aggressive and play my game," Caldwell-Pope said. "This is a great start and I'm just going to continue (playing hard) this week."

Memphis was once again led by rookie standout Jordan Adams, the 22nd overall pick last month out of UCLA. He tallied 20 points a night after recording 22 against Oklahoma City. Jarnell Stokes contributed 16 points for the Grizzlies, who are also off Monday and will play the Orlando Magic on Tuesday.