The Pistons have struggled to shoot the ball during summer league outside of their last game against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pistons continued that trend against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the Las Vegas Summer League Tournament.
The Goin’ to Work Pistons would be proud of the final score of 64-59, but it wasn’t because of gritty defense being displayed by both teams. There were some bright spots defensively for the Pistons, like their second round picks Bruce Brown and Khyrie Thomas, but overall it was just poor shooting by both teams.
Brown was very impressive as he filled up every column of the stat sheet. He finished the game with a game-high 15 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals. He also played point guard in the fourth quarter and looked more than comfortable doing it.
Another player who stood out was Eric Griffin. The 28 year old forward spent last season on a two-way contract with the Utah Jazz and he had some impressive blocks defensively and some really great rim runs. I don’t have the stats because it is Summer League, but he could be a player the Pistons consider on a two-way contract. I got some Eric Moreland vibes from him, who got signed to a contract due to a standout performance for the Pistons in the Summer League last summer.
I mentioned poor shooting earlier, and Henry Ellenson embodied every part of that. He finished the game 3-17 from the field by my count and was not very good defensively either. The shots he was taking were not awful for the most part, he just wasn’t making anything. As a player who is supposed to be a talented offensive player who won’t provide much on defense, struggling to shoot as much as Ellenson has makes it very difficult to commit to him having any kind of role on the team.
The Pistons will face the Chicago Bulls and their standout rookie Wendell Carter Jr. in the next round of the tournament. Hopefully the team can bounce back and start hitting some shots.