Protecting the paint is an old saying in basketball that doesn’t grow old. It’s where NBA games are won or lost, where champions are made and unmade.
Detroit Pistons forward Jason Maxiell realizes that. He’s among the key players for the Pistons in the paint and will be expected to produce in a major way each game for Detroit.
“Of course, that’s something we talk a lot about in practice, protect the paint, protect the paint, protect the paint, and in the first quarter against Minnesota Timberwolves we had no offensive rebounds,” Maxiell said after the Pistons ended their preseason with a 104-88 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. “We tried to commit tonight to protect the boards offensively and defensively.”
If the Pistons can improve in protecting the paint, they could win enough games to be a playoff team.
Maxiell will get his points inside. But he’s especially encouraged with the addition of rookie Andre Drummond inside, which gives the Pistons another player to do the necessary garbarge work to get easy baskets and clutch rebounds.
“He’s working hard,” Maxiell said. “He’s got his motor going right. He needs to be more physical down low, and be a lot stronger and more verbal out there.”
Maxiell will try to improve on his numbers from a year ago which included 6.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. One of his best games was the second to the last contest of the 2011-12 season when he had 10 points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes of action against the Indiana Pacers.
His shooting percentage all of last season was a decent 47.8 percent.