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Vince Ellis: Increased minutes for Andre Drummond shouldn’t come at the expense of Jason Maxiell

Throughout this season, as fans have clamored more and more to see Andre Drummond‘s role increase, usually as a result of an emotional rant after watching one of Detroit’s numerous bad losses this season, I’ve admired the consistency of how Vince Ellis has dealt with what I’m sure of hundreds of tweets, e-mails, comments, etc. from fans and readers who are beyond frustrated that the highly productive rookie who is so key to the team’s future isn’t playing more. Ellis laid out his very reasonable rebuttal in the Detroit Free Press:

 Also, one of the guys in front of Drummond — Jason Maxiell — is playing the best basketball of his life. So how would it look in the locker room if Drummond started cutting into Maxiell’s time? Sports should be a meritocracy.

And later …

The minutes shouldn’t come at Maxiell’s expense automatically. Maybe shrink Charlie Villanueva’s time on nights he doesn’t make his first few shots.

Although Jason Maxiell‘s future with the team is unknown since he’ll be a free agent, I think most would agree with these points — wanting to see Drummond isn’t an indictment of Maxiell, who has been very good with the limited skillset/size he has. There isn’t necessarily a ‘Drummond over Maxiell’ movement so much as there is a desire to see Drummond play more minutes with Greg Monroe. Since Maxiell plays with Monroe a lot now, it would simply be a matter of shuffling the substitution pattern around a bit more. Most people in the comments here aren’t complaining that Maxiell is playing too much. They’re just complaining that he’s playing too much with Monroe at Drummond’s expense.

39 Comments

  • Dec 7, 201212:33 pm
    by Crispus

    Reply

    It would be a win-win if we could trade Maxiell to a contender.

    • Dec 7, 20121:12 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      And Prince. Prince has actually been playing really well this season. They each ought to be worth a late first rounder.

  • Dec 7, 201212:40 pm
    by bugsygod

    Reply

    If dumbass Joe would have drafted carmello instead of darko, we would still be throwing parades downtown detroit!
    If we had better player development staff, Drummond wouldnt look like a bust the way he does now!
    If we had better coaches they would know to reduce maxiel & princes’s minutes so sinlger could start and give more minutes to slava!
    If the new ownership would spend more money on the team and facilities we probably cld attract more FA’s to detroit!
    If we did not sign bynum, prince, stuckey to those dumb ass contracts we could have already traded them.
    If Joe had not given away our draft pick next year for magette we would be looking at another high pick, now no pick at all!
    If Joe would just make a move any move im sure he can bring in ALL the players we need at one time!
    If B. knight would just freaking grow up, i mean the guy is 21 yrs old and been in the league a WHOLE YEAR how much more experience does he need?!?!? 
    If Frank would just stop playing all these damn old vets like max, prince, cv im sure we would be contenders, those young guys dont need no freaking experience hell most of em went to college at least a year!

    • Dec 7, 20121:50 pm
      by MikeJ

      Reply

      The pick we got for the Ben Gordon trade is lottery protected, so we would have it if it is high and if the pick is outside the lottery how much of an impact player do we expect to get?  ”if joe would just make a move any move”.  Any move?  Who do we have that is worth a superstar from another team?  Our entire starting 5? and then we would have everything we need? Maybe in a video game your strategy would work.  The minutes distribution is not whats keeping us from being contenders, we don’t currently have the skill to be a top contender end of story.

      • Dec 7, 20122:04 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        It’s only lottery protected for one year. In the 2014 draft, let’s say the Pistons had the 9th pick and a player like Drummond fell to them. Well that pick goes to the Cats.

      • Dec 7, 20122:17 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        I mentioned it in the other thread, but Bugsy is not being serious in that comment. He’s being sarcastic, suggesting that those negative things he listed are the only things that PistonPowered writers — Dan and myself — talk about on this site.

        There’s no point in arguing with or responding to him. He’s a nuisance, ruins all of the interesting and meaningful discussion that happens in the comments and I apologize for his presence on behalf of all people who have brains.

        • Dec 7, 20123:01 pm
          by bugsygod

          Reply

          Not saying that your site is negative per say.  Just that you guys dwell on the same things ALLL THE TIME!   the billups trade, the coaching mistakes, cv/bg etc.  Every time the pistons lose, it seems you guys resort back to “look at the other team they know what they are doing”.  Then it goes to the past mistakes made.  Im a forward thinking guy and do not dwell on the past(why i ignore your insults patrick).  So when i look at the GS loss, i dont look at “OMG look at GS they got there shit right!”.  No i look at that game that night, there guards killed us and monroe was in foul trouble.  THATS IT, THATS WHY WE LOST.  Not becase the JOKE GS Warriors are doing ANYTHING right.  Hell its 60 games left in the season, lets see how that GREAT young team is doing then in comparison to Detroit.  I TRULY believe in a 7 game series we would beat GS because of our interior and i think our guards would play better as well(im pretty sure, knight/singler will combine for more than 7pts).  Hell i am sure i was the first to say fire Frank the first 2 games of the season when he wouldnt play monroe!
          *
          Look i come to your site everyday, because most other Pistons blogs are jokes.  Detroit Bad Boys ran with the Frank “cant develop and win at the same time story” all night.  NO update NO changes.  Of course i read Pistons.com, but Langlois is such a homer with his over the top analysis of each player.  ”Austin Daye and his Unique skill set”, “Ben Gordon is such and irrepressable scorer”, “Maggette with his incomparable ability to get to the line” blah, blah blah.  But they do provide interviews with players and coaches and good updates on what managment is thinking.  The article Dan wrote today was great because it provided 1. relevant data – prince playing better than last year 2. Noticing the obvious change in princes demeanor/body language 3. Current situation of how the O has changed away from prince.  But to constantly bitch and moan about the past, or in a prior argument we had about if ownership will spend money, or Drummond is a Bust, Or if the coaching staff is not replacing people because of finacial, or how LOSER/JOKE teams are now somehow a better organization and doing things better than Detroit WITH NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT!!!  <—–MY ABSOLUTE BIGGEST COMPLAINT.  Remember when the Suns were the Toast of the league and everyone wants to play there and play like the suns, blah blah blah.  They won ZERO, ZERO titles.  
          *
          So lets keep shit moving, Drummond looks like a stud, Monroe is 22 and future all star, singler looks like a legit starter for a contender, knight has made strides BUT still needs experience, prince & max have been better than expected and there trade value im sure has gone up,  defense has improved from last year(top ten in fg%D), we have max cap space next year, will have another lottery pick, I mean this looks like a pretty good situation going forward!  Even if frank is not the answer and Joe has to go, the PLAYERS are here and more coming.  Ownership has made a commitment to the team and community.  Patience is key, thats why i mentioned in the post yesterday about being old and seeing these rebuilds before, IT DOES NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT!.  Lakers, Celtics, Mavs, Heat, Pistons, Spurs, Bulls are the only teams to win a championship in the last 20years.  Not the knicks, not the suns, not the kings, not the warriors, not the nets, etc. 

          • Dec 7, 20124:05 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            “Im a forward thinking guy and do not dwell on the past”

            “Lakers, Celtics, Mavs, Heat, Pistons, Spurs, Bulls are the only teams to win a championship in the last 20years.  Not the knicks, not the suns, not the kings, not the warriors, not the nets, etc.” 

          • Dec 7, 20124:18 pm
            by bugsygod

            LOL @DAN, i thought patrick would be the one to jump on that.  smh.  But you know what i mean, lets show the pistons a little more respect than comparing them with the warriors 40 YEAR ANNUAL rebuilding project.  jeesh! 

      • Dec 7, 20122:18 pm
        by Crispus

        Reply

        He’s being ironic and zinging Dan/Patrick. Spillover from the Golden State post.

        • Dec 7, 20122:20 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          I wouldn’t call it a zing. Zings are clever and funny. A more accurate description is he’s being a know-nothing tool. Or, even more accurately, he’s being his normal self.

          • Dec 7, 20122:31 pm
            by Crispus

            I think his stuff’s pretty funny, but I also appreciate all the hard work you do here Patrick. Can’t you guys just bury the hatchet?

  • Dec 7, 20121:04 pm
    by Mack

    Reply

    If we did not have “fans” who demanded immediate results, we could increase attendance numbers.
    Do I agree with every move by Dumars, no. But trading for Magette was the correct move to shed Gordon’s contract. Yes they did overpay for BG, but he did just come off a monster year/playoff performance & I was the first to say CV was just an awful idea from the start. 

    BUT, throwing a developing Drummond to prolong him from reaching his maximum potential is just as awful of an idea. He is 19, it is better for him to have glimpses of greatness rather than having an inconsistent showing night in & night out.

    I do not understand BugsyGod how you would like to see Slava play more but knock drafting Darko.
     

    • Dec 7, 20121:10 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      “But trading for Magette was the correct move to shed Gordon’s contract.”

      This is true if and only if Dumars can get a very good player with that cap space this offseason. Otherwise, it was just a waste of a first rounder, a fairly valuable commodity for a team that isn’t all that good.

      “I do not understand BugsyGod how you would like to see Slava play more but knock drafting Darko.” 

      The answer to this one is simple. Slava did not require the investment of any draft pick at all and only minimal salary investment. Darko cost the second overall pick in arguably the greatest draft class of all time.

    • Dec 7, 20121:36 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “I do not understand BugsyGod how you would like to see Slava play more but knock drafting Darko.”

      His post is sarcastic. He’s trolling Dan and I because he believes this site is too negative. And, scholar that he is, his in-depth content analysis of our site has proven him right. 

      • Dec 7, 20121:49 pm
        by Victor

        Reply

        This site is too negative? I guess he doesn’t read the other Pistons blogs… Maybe he’s too busy. Hey! Go read Langlois and never come back! 

        • Dec 7, 20122:18 pm
          by Scott Free

          Reply

          Yeah I come here because its the most regularly updated positive Pistons blog.  Make your way into the depths of Detroitbadboys if you want to see some serious player hating.

        • Dec 7, 20122:22 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          It’s his story, I just let him tell it.

  • Dec 7, 20121:06 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Even with the “with Monroe” qualifier, I think the same point is still valid. Drummond’s and Maxiell’s skill sets are quite similar (although Drummond’s have more upside and less polish and he has a much better body to go with them). But just as Drummond is best served playing with Monroe, so is Maxiell. Basically, whenever Monroe is on the floor, so should be one of these two. CV or anyone else at the 4 or 5 can get their minutes when Monroe is sitting.

    • Dec 7, 20126:22 pm
      by revken

      Reply

      Agreed.  Maxiell is averaging about 27 minutes per game – a career high.  Even if you keep him at that level, it still leaves 21 minutes for Drummond, who is currently averaging 17.  Earlier in the season Frank was mostly subbing Drummond for Monroe, which obviously was going to limit his minutes.  Now that he’s usually coming in for Maxiell, his minutes are increasing.  The better he plays, the sooner he’ll come in and the longer he’ll stay in.  I’m fine with that. 

      • Dec 7, 20128:37 pm
        by Chris H

        Reply

        First just like to say who thought drummond would really be this good this early.  The only reason I am ok with Maxiell getting more minutes with Monroe right now is because we should be trying to trade him.  There is no reason to save a roster spot for Maxiell next year, we have several young bigs that we need to find out about and get game experience.  

        Let’s face it with the way amnesty actually works we are not going to amnesty CV.  There is simply not a reason to, unless there is a max contract free agent that is willing to come here and we need capspace to get him.  That being said can we for one second imagine a front court with Dwight Howard, Monroe and Drummond.  *sigh* I just imagined a block party every night… Anyway, it’s not going to happen. 

        So yeah, let’s get a trade for Max.  Playing the way he is I am sure there are many teams he could help. 

  • Dec 7, 20121:34 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    What they really need to do is change the mindset of which position Maxiel and Monroe play. Monroe should be power forward every minute he’s on the court.  That’s his long-term position. If there’s learning to do, he can start doing it.

    The Center is manned by Maxiel, backed up by Drummond. Then whoever is playing PF always has a physical player at Center next to him, be it Maxiel or Drummond.  If Max and Drummond are both rocking it on a particular day, then you can even play them together some.

    But this automatically avoids ugly pairings like Monroe/CV or Monroe /JJ which get pushed around physically.

    • Dec 7, 20121:39 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “What they really need to do is change the mindset of which position Maxiel and Monroe play. Monroe should be power forward every minute he’s on the court.”

      Yeah, but just because you call him your power forward doesn’t mean other teams have to defend him that way. If he’s on the floor with offensively limited players like Maxiell or even Drummond, the opposing team is still going to defend him with their best big, which means Monroe is often going to match up with the big, strong types he struggles against — M Gasol, Kaman, Varejao, etc.

      Playing with drummond more would likely help Monroe defensively, but other teams are still going to defend him with their centers because he’s shown that he struggles against them. 

      • Dec 7, 20122:01 pm
        by Victor

        Reply

        This is a real question: how high do you think Drummond’s ceiling is on the offensive end? Could he develop to a point that makes the ohter teams at least move their biggest body to guard him at times (and let Moose with a weaker player at times)?

        Or should we expect that Monroe shoud find a way not to strugle against heavy centers? 

        • Dec 7, 20122:07 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I would not expect Drummond’s offensive ceiling to be any higher than where Monroe is at now. And I do expect Monroe to keep getting better. So, no, the est defensive big will keep on guarding Monroe unless player styles make switching that around more sensible.

          • Dec 7, 20122:56 pm
            by Victor

            I would never think of the best big man guarding Andre instead of Greg. I’d think of the stronger and bigger one. That’s what I’m trying to ask.

          • Dec 7, 20128:46 pm
            by Chris H

            I think it is worth point out that while these two are both PF/C they are in no way similar players.  Drummond is a physical beast.  Everyone that wanted to figure out a way to get Cousins and Monroe together, well Drummond and Monroe would be a very similar duo when Drummond smoothes out his offense.  I think the very last thing Drummond needs to learn is a jump shot, it’d be nice, but I want to see those post moves down.  I want him on the block getting the other teams best bigs in foul trouble so that they are on the bench, and Monroe doesn’t have to deal with them.

        • Dec 7, 20122:28 pm
          by Crispus

          Reply

          I’m going to be optimistic and say Drummond can get a jump shot about as good as Serge Ibaka’s is now, but not as good as Garnett’s, C-Webb’s or McDyess’. It’ll still surprise the announcers when it goes in, but it’ll be legit enough for him to take without making the coach angry. That three he made was no accident. I think shooting in rhythm could make his jump shot much better than his wild free throws.

  • Dec 7, 20122:47 pm
    by Jon M

    Reply

    Agreed on all points here Patrick. I just want to go on a small Charlie V rant…

    Clearly when he is playing well… his ability to stretch the floor and open up passing lanes for our guards who make a living getting into the paint are attributes that can rarely be said about anyone on our current roster (minus Singler, Kim English and MIddleton). What drives me absolutely mad is that I honestly believe that he thinks as long as his impact is felt on the offensive end, he can just mail it in on defense. 

    What makes Drummond such an effective defender in the early stage of his career (athleticism, hustle, positioning, hustle, hustle and more hustle) are exactly the attributes that CV31 absolutely loathes. Is it worth sacrificing the progress we have made in regards to team philosophy and make up to get a stretch 4 on the court? I understand that Frank puts him in because he feels he fills a need and a giant black hole position wise for us… But if he doesn’t hit the first 3 shots he takes, his lackluster defense makes it certain that he will finish with a poor +/- for the night. So in this regard, I absolutely agree that if he doesn’t catch fire early… either give Drummond more PT or let Jonas make his mark on the game via hustle plays.

    While Jonas had been struggling mightily in the first 10 games, I know that he is a player who doesn’t take any plays off and will be a warrior night in and night out. I would rather play Jonas and truly cement this new standard of toughness/defensive intensity and go get the shooters in the off season that we so badly need. Thoughts?

    • Dec 7, 20124:16 pm
      by Brian S

      Reply

      In my opinion so far, CV, has been giving a pretty decent effort on D.  Clearly he lacks certain instincts and athleticism, but I believe he is trying.  I also think if he stops giving a good effort on D, he’d find his but on the bench again, regardless of how well he is playing offensively.

      • Dec 7, 20125:50 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        I don’t disagree with that, necessarily, but it depends on what you compare his effort to.

        Charlie V’s defensive effort this season compared to a good defensive player is still not good.

        Charlie V’s defensive effort this season compared to Charlie V’s previous defensive efforts is pretty good. 

        • Dec 7, 20128:55 pm
          by Chris H

          Reply

          That’s still not saying a whole lot.  It’s basically saying that he is doing pretty good when compared to one of the worst defenders in the NBA… himself… I don’t think that means he even makes it to even an average NBA defender.  I’ve never been particularly impressed with Charlie V’s playstyle, even in college. He never seemed to have that intensity, that drive that other players clearly have.  I was hoping that it was something that maybe I just didn’t see, but no.  I mean how can someone apparently work so hard over an off season and no look like anything has changed in his entire game.  I mean hell look at what Monroe has developed in two years, mind you he maybe, maybe needed to develop more things than Charlie V, but at least I see the parts he has added to his game.   

  • Dec 7, 20124:40 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    My thing is we say starting means NOTHING! , its about the minutes you play and how you produce in those minutes ….if that true why is it such a big deal to bring maxiell off the bench and still give him quality minutes?

    • Dec 7, 20125:04 pm
      by Jon M

      Reply

      I think this is a really good point “I HATE FRANK”. But let me ask you this… Generally the role of a bench player (especially first big off the bench) is to ignite or create a spark on both ends of the floor. So, my question is does Maxiell create a bigger “spark” than Drummond? I’m not so sure about that.

      While I absolutely think AD will be starting sometime after the all-star break, I think that it’s not a bad strategy to let Drummond start on the bench, examine the flow of the game and how the refs are calling it (picking up two quick fouls will be Drummond’s achilles) and improve the cerebral part of the game that only experience and good teaching can provide. 

      I say keep AD on the bench, BUT, find a way to get him 23-30 quality minutes a game. Give him a leash that is long enough to encourage him to play in a manner that will allow his physical tools and incredible motor to shine as well as learn from his mistakes as he grows as a player.

      • Dec 7, 20127:25 pm
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        my case for bring Maxiell off the bench is that…Maxiell will not only bring Energy off the bench, he also would become a guy that shoot that 15 foot jumper, and has a serviceable post up game….Drummond is all about rebounding and defense…Any Offense Drummond bring is all considered grazy, ….Maxiell scoring and points are expected… Moving Monroe to PF… means all of Sudden he gets a chance to knock down those 15 foot jumpers and to drive the ball more…Increasing Drummond chances to clean up the offensive boards even more…with Monroe in the line up

        (IN THEORY)

         

        • Dec 7, 20129:01 pm
          by Chris H

          Reply

          I’m trolling here, but in theory BG was coming off of his best season ever and was going to be a force in this league for several years to come. CV would stretch the floor every night opening up lanes for a younger Rodney Stuckey to drive, create, and finish at the rim.  All the while Rip would run his man through numerous screens and ALWAYS be open because of the space created by BG and CV.  It completely worked out that way too… in my dream world.

  • Dec 7, 20125:15 pm
    by Ozzie-Moto

    Reply

    Patrick.
    I don’t think you go far enough…..  Yes merit is the founding principle for playing time BUT there are modifying factors depending on how truly competitive the team is, upside potential of the player, contract length, cap space etc etc etc. The more competitive the team is the more that just emendate results count. The more a team is rebuilding the more you have to factor in the rest.  GIVEN JD track record of over valuing existing players i would not be surprised if JD signs Maxiel next year for to much money (not a lot but) So if that the case you might as well START DRUMOND NOW and work max in his new role or get boooed out of Detroit (rightfully so) for stunting another good draft pick ……   

  • Dec 7, 20125:33 pm
    by Ozzie-Moto

    Reply

    Why Drumonds starting is important:

    1: One of the reasons that it harder to get his time in with Monroe is that Monroe starts so they are out of sink, if you start out of sink then it harder to get their minutes together

    2: Don’t under value your players to the other teams, refs, your own fans..  Confidence effects how things play out. You don’t want to over extend what you have in a players potential, OK error on the side of caution but if he already running with the ball don’t hold him back … some players get sort of “handled” to death .. they loose their MOJO … 

    3  Work on and feature you most devastating players together to set the tone … OK if you limit him in the first half minute wise but start him  then have the minutes when it counts in then 2nd half. 

    4 People might realize that you realize you got something going and SHOW up to see you play

    5 Play what you see as your wining hand in the future because where you are now is obviously not good enough … 

    Detroit has not been the spot fo natural stars. You like and mold the hard working or me against the world kind) So the organization sort of takes the “Shine” of them when it not really necessary.

     

  • Dec 7, 20125:37 pm
    by Scott Free

    Reply

    I don’t get the decision to remove Jerebko from the lineup entirely.  The minutes are there for both he AND cv depending on who’s hitting — and I think Jonas was the only Piston whose stuggles weren’t given the benefit of the doubt.  

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