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Pistons Tune Up: Henry Ellenson

Three things Henry Ellenson can do to help the Pistons next season

2016 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons finished a disappointing 38-44 last season. As the team looks to improve and regain a spot in the playoffs, Detroit Bad Boys is examining three things each player can do to improve their game and improve the chance the team wins. Whether you’re new to the game or a season Pistons watcher, these are important factors that anyone can appreciate and will help you understand and evaluate Detroit’s team as we get ready for the 2017-18 season.

Henry Ellenson

Pick 2: Bigger, stronger, faster

Ellenson’s NBA career will be defined by his ability to not get run off the floor on defense. There are two ways he can accomplish this: 1. increase his agility, quickness and speed so he can defend power forwards. 2. Gain muscle, get bigger and try and hold his own down low.

Personally, I think door No. 2 is a lot more likely than door No. 1. When watching him earlier this year in Orlando Summer League, you could tell he had worked heavily on his offensive game. He has some great scoring instincts, can hit myriad shots and improved his 3-point ball. But his defense still wasn’t there, and he was so slow to recognie and recover, I’m not sure he’ll ever become a modern NBA power forward. But that’s fine. There is nothing wrong with being a stretch-5 off the bench hitting 3s and hitting the boards. Gain 20 pounds, Henry, and you can be dangerous.

2. 36% 3-point shooting

Nobody is saying that Henry Ellenson needs to turn into Steph Curry, but a stretch big is only as good as his ability to stretch the defense. And that means he needs to at least make the defense wary of leaving him open for a catch-and-shoot opportunity. He shot 28 percent from 3 in the pros and 33 percent in the G League. If Ellenson ups that to something around the 36 percent range he might actually earn some minutes.

3. Crash the offensive boards

It’s always more difficult for a stretch big man to grab rebounds, but it will be tough to win the rebounding war with Ellenson on the floor when he is spotting a ~5 percent offensive rebounding rate. His 5.8 percent mark in the NBA in limited time rated him 105 out of 131 NBA players 6-foot-10 or taller last season. With a limited role Ellenson needs to crash the boards to help out his teammates.