Pistons rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is starting to draw notice for his defense.

ESPN’s Henry Abbott named Caldwell-Pope as one of the NBA’s surprisingly productive defenders.

He wrote Tuesday: “Caldwell-Pope has played close to 500 minutes, during which time the Pistons have given up a stingy 96.9 points per 100 possessions.

“When he has sat, Pistons are allowing 108.4. The difference is 11.5, at least some of which, you’d think, has to do with the fact that this rookie guard is living up to his predraft reputation as a committed defender.”

Defense possibly is the most difficult skill for rookies to learn, so it’s promising that Caldwell-Pope is considered a plus-defender so early in his career. He is adept at limiting touches, a key to good defense because a player can’t score if he doesn’t have the ball.