Season Review: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has His Best Season as a Piston
In the 2013 NBA draft, many fans were upset with the fact at the time General Manager Joe Dumars drafted Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with the 8th pick in draft while the 2012-2013 Naismith Player of The Year was still on the board in Michigan point guard Trey Burke. Drafting Caldwell-Pope has proven to be the better draft selection, and this season showed why.
This season, Caldwell-Pope posted career numbers that he had never posted before. He averaged 14.5 PPG (his highest ever while in the NBA), while shooting 42% from the field (his highest ever while in the NBA), and shooting 81% from the charity stripe (his highest ever while in the NBA). He also averaged the fourth most minutes per game in the NBA.
Caldwell-Pope also rose to the occasion in this year’s playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He averaged 15.3 PPG and bestowed stellar 3 point shooting, averaging 44% behind the 3 point line. He showed the rest of the league what he is capable of, and this is only the beginning.
KCP also displayed great defensive performances. One of his most memorable defensive plays this season was his block on LeBron James. He showed hustle as he came from behind and block James’ shot. He averaged 1.4 steals per game and 2.8 defensive rebounds per game. He had many memorable performances throughout the season as well. One of his best performances was when he held Thunder guard Russell Westbrook to 14 points on 5-14 shooting. Westbrook also had 11 turnovers in that game.
“That kid is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league,” Pope’s backcourt mate Reggie Jackson said to the Detroit News.
One of the few knocks on Caldwell-Pope’s game is his three-point shooting. He shot 34.5% from downtown. That area of his game must improve. If it does, Pope will be one of the best two-way guards in the NBA.
Overall, Caldwell-Pope had a remarkable season. It was by far his best in a Pistons uniform. He has consistently improved and will continue to improve in the future. The future is bright for him and the Pistons as a whole.
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