With a cloud uncertainty thunder-storming, snowing and hailing on the Detroit Pistons, we wanted our Pistons preview series to capture that. So for each Piston, Patrick Hayes and I will identify and explain what we each see as the biggest question surrounding him entering the season.
DF: Can he really be a reliable backup center?
At just 6-foot-7, Jason Maxiell was the Pistons’ most reliable backup center last year. Maxiell hadn’t held a defined role in years, but when pressed into a set spot, even one that doesn’t appear to naturally suit him, he thrived. Did the Pistons stumble onto something? Do Maxiell’s long arms, strong lower body and impressive hops negate his height mismatch against backup fives? If so, Greg Monroe might not be pressed into duty right away.
PH: Have the Pistons finally figured out how to use him?
Maxiell has had an up and down career with the Pistons. He’s been in and out of the rotation. At times, he’s played well and hasn’t been rewarded with more minutes. At times, he’s played poorly and been left in the game. Last year, he was given his first extended opportunity to start, with mixed results. What we know is this: Maxiell is no worse than the Pistons third best big man (not counting Jerebko) and, if healthy, will be a rotation player all season.
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