Five Takeaways for the Pistons in the 2017 Orlando Summer League
1) The Pistons could have point guard depth in the G-League
Over the course of these games, we saw flashes from the point guards. Pierre Jackson played very well, highlighted by a game-winning shot in overtime vs the Heat.
He definitely impressed me overall. Then there was Lorenzo Brown who logged a lot of minutes for the Grand Rapids Drive in the G-League last season and could be back with them next year. He showed some flashes and certainly has experience with what Detroit wants to do. Should the Pistons need to call up one of these guys, particularly Jackson(if he goes to the D-League), for point guard depth then I’d feel fairly comfortable. Both of these point guards are players Detroit should consider offering one of their two-way contracts to.
2) The Pistons found their third string center
The Pistons have officially signed center Eric Moreland. This was in large part to how he thrived in the summer league, specifically on the defensive end. Moreland made the All-Defensive team for the G-League last year and showed why he did so in Orlando. His shot blocking and ability to take a charge was demonstrated in every game. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that he’s instantly the Pistons best defender of their three centers. For him to receive regular minutes, which is very unlikely, he will need to vastly improve offensively. Nonetheless, Moreland provides Detroit with rim protection, energy, and most importantly, depth.
3) Henry Ellenson is still lost on defense
As good as Ellenson looked at times, he is just as bad as we’ve feared as a defender. He is slow in space which makes him a complete liability when defending the perimeter. He also desperately needs to bulk up, as opposing big men, mostly fringe NBA players feasted on him inside. As much as I’d like to see Ellenson receive NBA minutes this year, I can’t ignore this gaping hole in his game.
2) The good outweighs the bad for Henry Ellenson
As bad as he was on the defensive end, Ellenson’s offense made up for it. Last year’s first-round pick showed soft touch overall and shot the ball well. He was regularly the Pistons best scorer and really carried the offense at times. He averaged 17.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in Orlando.
Back to back threes for Henry Ellenson. pic.twitter.com/MyY4LyheIq
— Palace Pistons (@PalaceOfPistons) July 4, 2017
He preformed so well on this end of the floor that he could fight Leuer for minutes this year, if not his roster spot as an offensive power forward who can shoot the ball.
1) Kennard live up to the hype
There’s no two ways about it, Kennard was very impressive. He shot nearly fifty percent from three over the course of the summer league and averaged over seventeen points per game. He was also the guy to take and make big shots, including a game-tying three in the championship game and making three clutch free throws to send the game to overtime vs Miami. On top of his excellent offensive skill set, he showed to be a somewhat capable defender. With the way he preformed in Orlando it seems clear he will be getting NBA minutes this year.