Detroit Pistons Thriving Whenever Jason Maxiell Is Driving

By John Raffel
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s uncanny how Jason Maxiell can make a difference in the game for the Detroit Pistons, even if it doesn’t show up in the scoresheet.

Maxiell had modest stats against the Atlanta Hawks Friday night when the Pistons extended their winning streak to four straight games with an 85-84 NBA victory. His totals included 10 points, 10 rebounds and three shot blocks.

But when the game is reaching a critical moment, Maxiell is almost always there for a play.

“Well, this was the second game in a row where Max, down the stretch, made some huge energy hustle plays that almost came up with another loose-ball when he dove on the floor, very similar to what he did in the Sacramento Kings game,” Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. “And, you know, give him credit, he’s sitting there for a while now and to respond and do what he did, you know those are winning-type plays that we need.”

Maxiell has gotten tired of losing. When the Pistons lost 126-119 to the Hawks in double overtime five games ago, he was furious. He badly wanted revenge this time against Atlanta and used that as a motivational factor.

“We pretty much owed them one from last time at their place, so it was just a close game like always,” he said. “Being at home, we got some good practices in. We’re protecting our home court and have had some good wins in our conference.”

Thanks to Maxiell, the Pistons are playing very well in the paint.

“That’s the type of game we had,” he said. “We tried to get down low and bang, working on Andre (Drummond), getting a little more physical down low (and) myself and things are working out.”

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