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 play up-tempo?
When I analyzed Greg Monroe after the draft, I saw a pure half-court player. It seemed all his skills were best utilized in a slower tempo. But he got up and down the court well, with or without the ball, during summer league.
If he can play fast, the Pistons might have two excellent pieces in Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey going forward. If he can’t, they might have to choose one.
PH: Will he play?
Last year’s first round pick, Austin Daye, rarely saw the court because his strengths are undoubtedly on offense and his weaknesses are more obvious at the defensive end. This year’s first round pick, Monroe, could be described similarly.
The assumption is Monroe will have to play some simply because the team is thin up front. I don’t think that’s necessarily the case — if he doesn’t show that he’ll battle defensively, it’s conceivable he could lose minutes to the Ben Wallace-Jason Maxiell-Charlie Villanueva group (assuming Charlie V. is more focused defensively this year). I hope it plays out differently, but it’s rare a Pistons rookie earns big minutes his first season.