How Aaron Gray has prepared Henry Ellenson for NBA bigs

TARRYTOWN, NEW YORK - AUGUST 07: Henry Ellenson /

Henry Ellenson showed a much more polished game yesterday in the Detroit Pistons’ first game at the Orlando Summer League. Credit ex-Piston player/current Pistons assistant coach Aaron Gray for preparing Ellenson.

Henry Ellenson showed a consistently reliable back-to-the-basket game yesterday in Orlando.

He hit numerous back down turnaround fadeaway jumpers, from multiple spots on the floor, as Ellenson was able to find his spots on the floor at will.

Not bad for a guy that was considered to be behind by NBA standards in terms of strength, even if it is summer league.

But how did Ellenson make such gains in this area? He played against a monster of a man in Aarron Gray.

Via Detroit Free Press:

"ORLANDO — Daniel Hamilton is a solid 6-foot-6, 200-pounder.But he has nothing on the taste of old-man strength that Henry Ellenson receives when working out with Detroit Pistons assistant coaches Otis Smith and Aaron Gray.Specifically Gray, who stands a towering 7 feet and weights a bit more than his 270-pound playing weight when he retired from the NBA in 2015 after being diagnosed with a heart issue.So it’s not like Ellenson, the second-year power forward, was surprised at his ability to back down Hamilton, the Oklahoma City Thunder swingman, to score early in the first quarter of the Pistons’ 92-91 loss Saturday afternoon in the Orlando Pro Summer League opener for both teams.“I don’t think anyone compares to the stature of Coach Gray,” a smiling Ellenson told the media later a short distance away from the Amway Center practice floor where the summer league games are played.“Yeah, old-man strength.”"

We are one game into summer league, but Ellenson’s gains in this area are evident.

Next: Henry Ellenson draws comparisons to Dirk and Luol Deng

It remains to be seen whether Ellenson will continue to have this success, or whether this will translate to the regular season, but for now, the Pistons have to be pleased with Ellenson’s progress so far.