Henry Ellenson shares personal improvements, high expectations for the Pistons’ season

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 07: Henry Ellenson
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 07: Henry Ellenson /

Henry Ellenson, who is entering his second season on the Detroit Pistons, talked with HoopsHype about his improvements, expectations for this year, and a multitude of other topics.

At age 20, Henry Ellenson is the youngest member of the Detroit Pistons, even after the addition of Luke Kennard. Still, he has a chance to crack Stan Van Gundy’s rotation this year as a regular contributor. He sat down with HoopsHype to discuss all things Pistons, and there were a few key takeaways from his words.

Regarding his personal game, Ellenson shared some thoughts on his strength as well as his versatility.

"I need to be stronger, I need to be able to compete and I need to hold my own. I’ve been doing a lot of squats and work on my lower body. I’ve really been working hard in the weight room. Then, for my on-court workout, I’m making sure I’m as versatile as possible. I’m not a one-dimensional player – I want to be able to do as many things as possible – so I’m always trying to expand my skill set."

As far as the weight room goes, some added strength should definitely help Ellenson on the defensive end, where he struggled last year. Increased familiarity with Van Gundy’s defense should help as well. Offensively, Ellenson showed the ability to score in a variety of ways in the 2017 Summer League, and hopefully those skills can transfer into productive NBA rotational minutes. He’s been thought of as a stretch-four, but the ability to put the ball on the floor can be crucial for him. Also, he showed some ability to post up, allowing him to elevate over smaller defenders.

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Next, Ellenson shared his lofty expectations for the Pistons this year.

"It’s exciting to see how open the East is now. I feel like it’s ours for the taking… We have the talent to go do this, there’s no doubt about it."

As far as the Eastern Conference being open, most fans will agree that some playoff spots are up for grabs. You have to like Ellenson’s overall mindset and optimistic outlook about the talent on this team. It’ll be interesting to see how open the East really is, especially considering the blockbuster trade that Cleveland and Boston recently finalized.

Finally, Ellenson touched on his biggest personal goal for this year.

"My biggest goal entering the season is just to be part of the rotation and then, from there, just be able to contribute by scoring the ball and making plays for others. But yeah, the biggest goal is just getting into that rotation."

There are minutes up for grabs in the front court this year, depending on how the Detroit Pistons use their forwards. Ellenson could also play some backup center, if Van Gundy wants to see more spacing than what Boban Marjanovic and Eric Moreland are able to provide.

Next: A look at the Pistons’ locker room in their new home

If a 20-year-old nearly 7-footer can earn Stan Van Gundy’s trust, that speaks volumes and bodes well for his future and the future of this team. Overall, Ellenson displayed confidence in his words throughout the interview, and it’ll be exciting to watch his development this season.