Detroit Pistons Thrive When Jason Maxiell Is At His Best

By John Raffel
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

When Jason Maxiell is playing well, so are the Detroit Pistons.

That was evident again in the team’s 89-79 NBA victory Monday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“Just watching him play like that gets everybody hyped and we all start playing in sync. You would never guess how tall Jason Maxiell is because of how hard he plays,” said rookie Andre Drummond. “He may be 6-5, 6-6, but he plays like he’s 7-foot.”
Maxiell had 12 points and six rebounds but his most impressive stat involved five blocked shots.

The interior defense for the Pistons, highlighted with several blocked shots, was impressive whenever Maxiell was able to take control.

“It all started with Jason Maxiell, really,” Drummond said. “He got the whole flow of the game going with the blocked shots he made and his strong presence around the rim. Watching him got me going as well too.”

Maxiell led a defense, which coach Lawrence Frank agreed was at its very best.

“So tonight was a game where we won the game shooting in the low 40s (field goal percentage) so that’s a good thing because we held them to 33 percent and we had good rim protection,” Frank said.

Brandon Knight agrees that Maxiell’s defensive play and the concept of protecting the rim is a key for the Pistons.

“Definitely it means a lot, just to know you can pressure the ball,” Knight said. “You don’t want to rely on that, but just in case you do get beat, the bigs can step up and can have different consequences where they take a charge or block a shot. It definitely gives you a lot more confidence to try and pressure the ball.”

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