Pistons close Summer League with double-digit win over Magic as top picks sit
A Summer League game between the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic was played on Saturday, but it didn't live up to the potential of what could've been if three of the top 13 overall picks from last month's draft had been available.
Which might've been a good thing for the Pistons, because it offered an opportunity to evaluate players looking to prove themselves in the NBA.
Paolo Banchero, the Magic's top overall draft choice, and Pistons rookies Jaden Ivey (No. 5) and Jalen Duren (No. 13) watched from the bench as the Detroit (3-2) closed its Summer League schedule with a 102-86 win over the Magic (2-3) at Thomas and Mack Center.
Detroit had a four-point lead at the end of the third quarter and added cushion in the fourth thanks to Charlie Moore, who scored 16 of his 21 by playing defense, penetrating into the lane for open teardrops and knocking down 3-pointers. He added five rebounds and eight assists, which has been his calling card in Las Vegas.
"I just caught a rhythm," Moore told ESPN's Jorge Sedano after the game. "We were getting the ball out in transition and running. We started playing as a team. I started making shots and it helped us come out with a win. I got a little hot."
Moore, the former Miami point guard, was signed to Detroit's summer league roster after going undrafted in June.
"It's been an exciting time. For me to be here with my friends and family, it was a great experience," Moore said. "Being here at NBA Summer League, it's a dream come true. I'm happy. I'm just trying to take it all in and stay humble while enjoying it."
Moore was uncertain of his basketball future now that Summer League has concluded, but he plans to relax and continue to work on his game.
Pistons guard Jules Bernard also showed his offensive prowess by scoring 14 of his 22 in the third quarter. He grabbed nine rebounds, connected on all three of his 3-pointers and made nine free throws, displaying his ability to draw contact and get to the line.
"Just playing aggressive," Bernard said when asked about his third quarter performance. "A lot of that is sparked by defense and getting boards and getting out in transition. Once you get easy buckets, easy shots and knock down some free throws to get your rhythm, that's when the floodgates opened."
Stanley Umude and Braxton Key displayed their efficient offensive execution, especially from 3-point range, to keep Detroit in the game early. Umude, a 6-foot-6 rookie, scored 13 with 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Key added 15 points and four rebounds, going 2-of-4 from deep.
Magic forward Justin James led the way for Orlando with 18 points and five rebounds.
The game might've missed some star power from the top rookies, but it was compelling enough for the hardcore NBA fan.
Banchero, the No. 1 overall pick from Duke, finished the Summer League averaging 20 points, five rebounds, six assists and 2.5 steals through just two games.
Ivey participated in the Pistons' first two games until he suffered a sprained right ankle against the Wizards last Saturday. He complied averages of 15.5 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Duren played in three games and averaged 11.3 points and 3.3 boards.
The Pistons are done with games for the summer, and now they'll spend the rest of the offseason trying to integrate their new pieces before training camp opens in the fall. The first chance to see if the parts fit is when the preseason begins in October.