That’s where Kander will start with Monroe this summer, too: his lower body.
“He’s got a great frame,” Kander said. “He’s got the wide shoulders, narrow waist, good-sized legs. If you see small legs, it’s hard to work on. It takes a long time to build up leg volume.
“The last thing you want to do with a big guy is overload the upper body. We really didn’t work a lot on that (last season). That will happen over time. Then you deal with every injury. We really try to get their base stronger. Ankle flexibility – to sit in the legs and use what they do have. Then get the hips, the lower back, stronger. Then you work on the icing on the cake.
“Ben Wallace has been working at this for years. This is not overnight. It’s a step-by-step process. Develop the ability to drop, develop the ability to get stronger in the hips, the ability to get lateral strength, move sideways. He got a lot better at that as the season progressed. His running looked a lot better; he moved a lot better.”
That lateral movement and ability to get low became apparent over the course of his rookie season most obviously on the defensive end, where Monroe became not only a solid defender in the post but an active help defender who proved effective in pick-and-roll situations.
I nearly came to tears reading that. The Pistons care about defense after all. I’ve previously complained about the Pistons’ offensive focus with Greg Monroe, and I’m thrilled to read they have defensive plans for him, too.
Still, I worry about a lockout. If Monroe can’t work with Kander, then what? Have the Pistons given Monroe enough defensive training that he can work on it on his own?
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