Las Vegas — The Sekou Doumbouya debut will have to wait for another day.
Doumbouya, the Pistons’ first-round draft pick, sustained a right-hamstring strain and was unavailable for the Pistons’ opener in the NBA Summer League on Friday at Cox Pavilion.
Doumbouya had participated in the initial workouts this week but was held out of the opening game against Croatia. His status is day-to-day, and the Pistons most assuredly will be cautious with his health, especially in scrimmages.
“I’m not sure what it was,” said assistant coach Sean Sweeney, who is running the Summer League team. “It’s day-to-day; whatever those (medical) guys say, we do.”
Doumbouya was on the court for early warm-ups but only did some light work with the rest of the team, rebounding and passing to teammates to help get them ready.
Last summer, Luke Kennard, the Pistons’ 2017 first-round pick, suffered a knee injury on the first day of Summer League practice and missed all of the summer schedule.
Doumbouya, who was selected 15th overall, was one of the most anticipated players to watch on the Pistons’ roster but the injury will keep him sidelined indefinitely. In his absence, Jarrod Uthoff started at power forward. Another big man, Bennie Boatwright, missed the game also.
The Pistons beat Croatia, 96-80, in the opening game of the NBA Summer League. Rod Beard, The Detroit News
Todd Withers opened some eyes with his performance on Friday. The 6-foot-8 forward had 16 points and four rebounds in 20 minutes, but he seemed to be in all the right places on the court and went 4-for-7 on 3-pointers.
Winters, 23, is building on a solid season in the G-League with the Grand Rapids Drive, where he posted 6.9 points and 5.6 rebounds in 48 games, including 36 starts. He shot 32 percent on 3-pointers but he got into a comfort zone Friday.
“He did a great job making the extra pass and we switched (everyone except the center) and he showed versatility defensively,” Sweeney said. “He’s got a great body and athleticism and he’s a great communicator defensively.
“He stands out as a guy who’s going to talk, help out and be organized and make a couple shots, too.”
The Pistons had 15 turnovers, including six by Svi Mykhailiuk and four by Khyri Thomas, which made for a sloppy first half. The second quarter was almost the undoing, as Croatia moved ahead, but the Pistons turned things around in the third quarter by holding the European foe to just 15 points.
“Turnovers were a big part of it and taking care of the basketball,” Sweeney said. “We did a great job being unselfish but in the first half a few times where we threw the ball in their hands or over-penetrated. In the second half, we did a much better job.”
Bruce Brown, who moved to point guard for Summer League, said unfamiliarity is part of the problem and trying to adjust to a group that has only practiced for about four days before the first game.
“It’s maybe chemistry, with me forcing sometimes. I have to slow down and I’ll be good,” Brown said. “(As a point guard) you just have to know where everybody is and is supposed to be.”