Maurice Cheeks reveals plan to marginalize Greg Monroe and/or Andre Drummond, protect Josh Smith

Do Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond work well together?

Only if they’re playing with Josh Smith, apparently.

In a video posted by David Mayo of MLive, Maurice Cheeks said, “We’ll probably have Josh Smith and any one of the bigs on the floor. It will safe to say we’ll have those guys on the floor more, as opposed to Greg and Andre.”

What does that mean? You can read my minute breakdown at ProBasketballTalk to see how I reached this conclusion:

The Pistons are becoming Josh Smith’s team.

Smith struggled at small forward, but the Pistons won’t pull him – or Monroe, a pending free agent, or Drummond, a prospective All-Star – from the starting lineup. So, they’re left trying to get Smith as many minutes as possible at power forward in other ways. And because Cheeks doesn’t believe in using Monroe and Drummond together with a tradition 1-2-3 behind them – following the misguided lead of his predecessor, Lawrence Frank – that means fewer minutes for Monroe and Drummond, two of the NBA’s top young bigs.

With the absence of a third big to clog paint, Smith-Drummond and Smith-Monroe are probably better combinations than Monroe-Drummond right now. But Monroe-Drummond could be the Pistons’ future, considering they’re five and eight years younger than Smith. And in the present, the combination trumps most of what Detroit has done this season.

But, for the time being, Monroe and Drummond will just have to fit best they can once Smith is comfortably situated.

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Tags: Andre Drummond Greg Monroe Josh Smith Lawrence Frank Maurice Cheeks

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