The Celtics' Chris Babb (52) goes past the Pistons' David Lighty, left, for a basket during a summer league game in Orlando, Florida. (John Raoux / Associated Press)
Orlando, Florida ó Itíll be a huge surprise if it were the case come November, but the Pistonsí dependency on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope resulted in his well running dry, leading to their first summer league loss, a 92-90 setback to the Boston Celtics.
Caldwell-Pope came in leading the summer league in scoring and ranking in the top 10 in rebounds and steals, but looked dead tired Wednesday, hitting on just eight of his 22 shots and scoring 26 points.
He didnít hit his first 3-pointer until the fourth quarter, after missing his first five from long range. He went on a quick run in the final minute to make things interesting, but for the majority of the time it looked like his legs were done, possibly aided by the two-a-days the Pistons put the players through the week before summer league began.
He hit a pair of threes and a three-point play to turn a bad game into a regular outing for him, and his desperation triple with 0.4 seconds left off an inbounds pass didnít catch the right angle off the glass to run it, in what couldíve been a repeat finish to his pseudo-heroics Tuesday, where he hit the winning 3-pointer with 6.6 seconds left.
Forward Justin Harper, who was an Orlando Magic draft pick when Van Gundy was a coach, scored 19, making all seven of his field goal attempts.
Point guard Ian Miller, who started in place of Peyton Siva (hamstring), scored 16 in 26 minutes.
Center Kelly Olynyk scored 16 and first-round draft pick Marcus Smart scored 14 for the Celtics.
Celtics get scare
It was a scary moment in the third quarter when Dairis Bertrans, a Celtics guard hoping to latch on after years of overseas play, found himself on the floor after his head struck the basket support after a fast-break layup where he was fouled by two defenders.
Celtics GM Danny Ainge even came onto the floor to check on Bertrans as he lay motionless for several minutes, and the Amway Arena gym went dead silent until a stretcher came out.
He gave a thumbs up to the observers on his way off the floor, with his head stabilized on the stretcher.
Salary cap at all-time high
The NBA just announced that salary cap for 2014-15 will be an all-time high of $63.065 million. The luxury tax threshold is $76.829 million. The Pistons can exceed the salary cap to keep their own players, such as restricted free agent Greg Monroe.
If Monroe receives a maximum contract offer from the Pistons or another team, itíll likely start around $15.7 million annually for four years.
The Pistons have a little less than $6 million in camp space to play with, and Stan Van Gundy has intimated the team could hold onto that until the regular season to facilitate trades.
The free-agent moratorium ended at 12:01 a.m. today, and free agents are free to officially sign deals with other teams or sign offer sheets, per restricted free agency.