Siva's work paying off
After playing for the Detroit Pistons in his rookie season, Peyton Siva was relegated to the NBA D-League last season, after being cut by the Orlando Magic during training camp. Siva didn't let that get him down, however, as he continued to put in the work each and every night to ultimate get another shot at making it in the NBA.
The 6-foot guard from Louisville did not play in the first game of the week for the Magic's Blue team, sitting in favor of second-round pick Tyler Harvey. Despite not playing, Siva kept himself thoroughly involved in the game, cheering on his teammates from the bench. Later that night, Siva was back int he gym working, something that Aaron Gordon admired.
Gordon, who was finishing up putting in some extra work of his own, said he told Siva he "admired him" for his work ethic and sticking with it, even when he didn't get on the floor. "He's good, I always thought Peyton was good," Gordon added.
Siva himself talked about how the NBA is a league where hard work is rewarded, and that's an important factor for him when it comes to putting in the extra work.
With no contract for next season yet, Siva said he wants to show the Magic he can "do the little things" while on the floor.
"I haven't been shooting that well from the field, but I think I've done a great job running the offense, playing defense, getting steals and getting everyone involved," he said." That's my job."
"A lot of people look at the box score and look at the points and everything. The coaches tell me to run the team and get the hockey assist. It's about the little things. In this league it's about finding a niche, and that's what I'm trying to do."
The third-year man said he has no plans to play with another team during next weeks Las Vegas Summer League. "Just wait and see what happens after this one," he said. "They're giving me a chance to go out there and show my worth, and besides today's third quarter, I think I've played really well throughout the whole game. We lost by a buzzer beater in sudden death, but other than that I think I've been doing a good job of running the team and showing I belong."
With the reports that the team plans on signing C.J. Watson, Siva would be relegated to a third point guard role, if he did ultimately sign with the Magic.
Siva said he would be comfortable in that third guard role, saying, "Definitely. I feel like I can bring that energy to the team, off the bench, push Elfrid [Payton] every day in practice, or push whoever, and, you know, the coach would know what he's going to get out of me when he puts me in the game. Picking up full court, running the team, finding the open man. Just doing the little things."
While he's struggled some with his shot this week, Siva has still given the Magic some solid minutes on the floor. He's shown a strong ability running the offense, and has continually gotten after it on the defensive end of the floor. Siva may be facing a slightly uphill battle to make the roster, but if he continues playing like he is, it could make it hard for the Magic to pass on him,
Gordon garners coaches' praise
Opening the game up 3-for-3 from the field, it appeared as though Aaron Gordon was going to have yet another dominating Summer League performance. However, Gordon struggled after the hot start, making just one of his next 10 attempts from the field. Despite the struggles, the second-year man stuck with it, knocking down big shots late for the Magic as they forced the game into overtime.
Assistant Mario Ellie, playing the role of head coach for the day, praised Gordon and how he played without "the Magic's top two guys" in Elfrid Payton and Mario Hezonja. "This kid is only 19, [and] his roof is so high," said Ellie. "His competitive spirit, his work ethic, his energy in the huddle in fantastic, the leadership he shows for a 19-year-old kid.
"People in this league better watch out. He's a phenomenal talent, and he just did a great job today competing, playing the three and the four. We asked a lot of Aaron, and Aaron came up to me after the game and said 'coach, I've got to have that rebound'. When a young player comes up to you and says that, you've very encouraged. I was very excited to see that."
While Gordon may not have had his best game from the field, he gave the Magic a lot of good minutes throughout the contest. He finished with a game high 22 points, adding seven more rebounds, four assists, a steal and three blocked shots, and hit key shots late that gave the Magic a chance to steal a victory.
Gordon has shown he's more comfortable on the floor, and his play should be a welcoming sign for everyone involved in the Magic's organization. He's going to continue to put the work in on both ends of the floor, and, as Ellie pointed out, his "roof" is very, very high moving forward.