Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is having shooting problems again and he needs to snap out of it quickly.
The Detroit Pistons‘ first-round draft pick is getting plenty of playing time in the preseason and hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire with his shooting.
Caldwell-Pope has averaged 26.9 minutes per game but is shooting 14-of-55 from the floor for 25.5 percent and 4-of-21 in 3-pointers for 19 percent. Both figures are obviously way too low to be acceptable for any coach. He is down free throws with a 13-of-15 clip and is impressive on the rebounding side with 5.6 boards per game. He’s only had eight turnovers in 134 minutes of action which, for a guard, isn’t all that bad.
Caldwell-Pope also got off to slow start during the NBA Summer League and then came on stronger. But, that was summer league. This is the real deal right now.
The Pistons raised few eyebrows when they skipped Trey Burke and went for Caldwell-Pope for their first-round pick. They’ll get second-guessed more if Caldwell-Pope has a lousy season. But it does take awhile for a rookie to catch on and the Pistons will cut him slack for while. With Brandon Jennings and Rodney Stuckey out with injuries, guard play is wide open and now would be Caldwell-Pope’s chance to establish his credentials. He is averaging 9.0 points per game and could easily increase that total with better shooting. The fact that he’s not afraid to put up shots is encouraging, but not if he can’t hit them.
When the games start counting, Caldwell-Pope won’t play much with a 25 percent shooting percentage, especially when the Pistons are back at full strength.