Gorgui Dieng was just named the Western Conference's Rookie of the Week for his play down the stretch for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Now, the other big departure from last season is earning praise from his teammates for his play and his attitude.
Following Detroit's 115-111 win against Boston, a game in which the Pistons erased a 15-point second half deficit, several Detroit players pointed to Peyton Siva as the reason for the comeback. Andre Drummond, on NBA.com, said of Siva:
His energy in the fourth quarter was tremendous," Drummond said. "He came out, ran the show, played great defense, made smart plays on offense and passed the ball to guys who were open."
Pistons coach John Loyer also added:
"If you don’t go home with a better appreciation for Peyton Siva, you really didn’t watch the game," Loyer said. "He guarded the ball, he hustled, he got on the floor for loose balls, played with confidence. He was very, very good. You expect good things from Peyton just because he prepares so hard. If he’s not the first guy in the gym, I guarantee he’s the last to leave. He’s just been an incredible worker for us all year."
Louisville fans are plenty familiar with the Peyton Siva described in the quotes above. It's nice to see him get a little good press heading into the end of his first season in the NBA. His attitude while at Louisville is one of the reasons Rick Pitino always speaks so highly of him (putting him in the Pitino-level reverential category with Billy Donovan) and it's one of the biggest reasons Louisville is currently college basketball's national champions. At least for another five or six hours.