By Josh Cohen
July 2, 2017
ORLANDO – The Detroit Pistons built a lead as great as 35 against the New York Knicks and unlike Saturday’s late-game collapse maintained their poise and cruised to a 103-78 victory on Day Two at the 2017 Mountain Dew Orlando Pro Summer League.
Detroit’s 2017 first round pick, Luke Kennard, delivered another impressive performance. The 6’6, 206-pound sharpshooter from Duke recorded 14 points, five rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes. He scored 16 points in his professional debut on Saturday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“We were really focused on really bouncing back from a tough loss yesterday,” Kennard said. “I was just trying to stay locked in and focused throughout the entire game and I can tell that everybody was locked in about winning.”
Kennard’s ability to come off screens, pull up off the dribble and knock down long range jumpers will give Stan Van Gundy another scoring weapon. He shot nearly 44 percent from 3-point range this past season with the Blue Devils. He’s also shown an ability to be a playmaker on the offensive side of the floor.
“For me it’s just trying to make different plays,” he said. “Any chance I can get the best shot for the team, if I need to make an extra pass I’m going to do that. It’s just a part of my game.”
One of his more experienced teammates at summer league, Eric Moreland, also had a solid showing in Sunday’s win. The 25-year-old, who was a G-League All-Star last year with the Canton Charge, posted 15 points (5-of-6 shooting) and six rebounds. Moreland is very athletic, versatile and an excellent rim protector (averaged 2.7 blocks this past season).
The Pistons did most of their damage from behind the 3-point line. They drilled 13 threes on 26 attempts. Michael Gbinije, Henry Ellenson, Hollis Thompson, Dez Wells and Derek Willis each buried a pair. The Knicks also shot it well from long distance (12-of-31 from deep) but only 35 percent from the field overall.
Chasson Randle led New York with 16 points with all of his scoring coming from downtown. He split time last year between the NBA (Sixers and Knicks) and G-League. New York’s 2017 second round selection Damyean Dotson, who was a prolific outside shooter in college at Houston, chipped in with 13 points (4-of-9 shooting, 3-of-6 from beyond arc).