Pistons Mailbag - Monday, February 13, 2012 - Page 2

Pistons.com editor Keith Langlois answers your questions about the Pistons and NBA. Click here to submit your questions - please include your name, email address and city/state on the form. Return to the Mailbag homepage.

We reserve the right to edit your question for the sake of brevity or clarity.

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Ken (Ankara, Turkey): What is each assistant coach’s primary responsibility with the Pistons? With the new statistics craze in sports, is there a way to pinpoint when the Pistons are most likely to have turnovers, give up fouls, etc., and then coach to those specific tendencies?

Langlois: Let’s start with this: All coaches are involved in individual teaching and all are responsible for compiling scouting reports for upcoming opponents. Beyond that, they all have an area of expertise and all are assigned specific players to work with before and after practices. John Loyer is Lawrence Frank’s chief offensive assistant and he works with the team’s wing players. Brian Hill is Frank’s chief defensive assistant and he works with big men. Roy Rogers keeps a defensive responsibility chart, the one Frank values most, and is the chief assistant working with big men. Dee Brown is in charge of the team’s player development program and works with guards, primarily point guards. Charles Klask keeps the type of statistics you ask about, and an assortment of others, as well, including the effectiveness of various lineup combinations. He also works with big men. Steve Hetzel assists Brown in player development and works with some of the team’s younger players.


Jens (Cologne, Germany): More and more, I feel the Pistons should go for John Henson in the draft. He might be available without having to compete with the Hornets, Wizards and Bobcats for the worst record in the league. Do you think his body will be a big concern?

Langlois: I think his frame and ability to add strength are the biggest questions about him, Jens, but whether it comes close to being a deal-breaker for anyone is another matter. I like Henson. I liked him last season and was mildly surprised he chose not to enter the 2011 draft. He’s become a more legitimate scoring threat this season. He’s projected as a top-10 pick now. I think he’s got a real chance to rise to the top five. His ability to play over the rim would make him one of the more attractive college candidates to the Pistons, as that skill would complement Greg Monroe’s all-around game very nicely.


Zack (Mount Pleasant, Mich.): Everybody has to feel happy for a player like Walker D. Russell Jr., who has worked his way into a secure spot in the NBA. This brings to mind former All-American Scottie Reynolds of Villanova. Any word on what he’s doing right now and if he has a chance to make it to the NBA? What’s holding him back?

Langlois: Russell really helped the Pistons survive a tough stretch when they had only two other healthy guards available while Ben Gordon and Will Bynum were out with injuries, Zack. Reynolds went to camp with Utah but was a very early cut. He signed to play in Turkey last month with Antalya. He’s only played three games so far – he comes off the bench, while a former Villanova teammate, Corey Fisher, starts. Reynolds has played well so far, averaging 17 points in 24 minutes a game. He’s undersized and not a very good defender. To make it in the NBA, he’s going to have to develop more of a playmaking mentality.


Jerry (Toledo, Ohio): Wow, I can’t believe how much better Greg Monroe has gotten since the first half of his rookie season. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a player improve that much. I’m trying to think of who he reminds me of. Do you have any comparisons?

Langlois: This was a topic of conversation last week as I sat courtside before the Pistons played New Jersey as Monroe was getting in some pregame work. Everybody said there was no one in particular who came to mind, but that Monroe had elements of many players within his game. One said his footwork was on a level with that of a young Pau Gasol. For his ability to understand angles and probe openings around the basket, somebody compared him to Zach Randolph. For his even playing demeanor and smoothness, somebody brought up Sam Perkins. George Blaha wrote on Pistons.com recently that he sees a little bit of Bob Lanier in Monroe. Pretty nice company across the board.


Eric (Livonia, Mich.): If Howard is available in free agency, would he consider the Pistons? The Pistons could amnesty Gordon, Villanueva or Stuckey. At this point, Villanueva is most likely. A Howard-Monroe would be intriguing or am I just kidding myself?

Langlois: Josh or Juwan Howard, sure. Dwight Howard? He’s been clear about his desired destinations – the teams with which he’d willingly sign a contract extension should Orlando trade him there – being the Nets, Mavericks and Lakers. If he hits free agency – and I don’t think that’s the likely scenario – the Pistons wouldn’t be in position to offer a max contract, amnesty or not. The Pistons, also, cannot amnesty Rodney Stuckey. Only contracts signed under terms of the old collective bargaining agreement are eligible under the amnesty clause.


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