Jan 14, 2013; Hartford, CT, USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Russ Smith (2) and guard Peyton Siva (3) defend against Connecticut Huskies guard Ryan Boatright (11) during the second half at the XL Center. The Louisville Cardinals defeated the Connecticut Huskies 73-58. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Pistons Links: Russ Smith/Peyton Siva Connection

Every Morning, Pistons Palace brings you the reading material you need before you start your day at the office. We bring you the morning’s Palace Picks — Detroit Pistons Links from across the web to get you ready for the day.

We might not be as jam packed as the San Antonio Spurs offense, but hey — we’re here this Friday morning ready to bring you the best links from around the web. The Piston news is starting to swirl with the draft right around the corner and Stan Van Gundy opening up about the future of the team and what to expect from your Pistons.

Without further ado, here is today’s Palace Picks.

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We start today’s picks with a look at the NBA life. Peyton Siva joined the Pistons last year after a championship season at Louisville. Now his former teammate and good friend, Russ Smith, is making his journey to the NBA. Siva shares his role in helping Smith get to the NBA and vice versa.

Part of the NBA life, if you want to be successful, is playing defense. Bleacher Report’s Kelly Scaletta ponders if Stan Van Gundy can install a top 10 defense.

This is relevant to the Pistons because Van Gundy has established his credentials as a defensive guru. During the two full years he spent in Miami, from 2002-03 to 2003-04, the Heat were the eighth-most efficient defense in the league.

Over the four-year stretch he was in Orlando, from 2008-09 to 2011-12, the Magic were the second-best defense in the NBA. While you can argue that he was aided by having Dwight Howard, who won Defensive Player of the Year three of those seasons, that’s a two-way street.

Howard’s defense hasn’t been the same without Van Gundy’s system. He’s failed to win the award since the two parted company.

Over the next two weeks, we will be bringing you the latest in draft news, prospect profiles and rumors for the Pistons. As our friend Nick Denning at The Lottery Mafia points out, We are not Draft experts.

Because we live in a world of unbiquitous social media, however, anybody with a Twitter account can proclaim player X as the player a team should draft based off watching a handful of games or YouTube compilations. A lot of this is harmless – the final decision does after all rest with each team – but as Commodus learned in the absolutely historically accurate “Gladiator,” Rome is controlled by the mob.

Yesterday, Detroit Sports 105.1’s Matt Dery talked with ESPN Radio NBA voice Kevin Calabro, who is calling the finals. The two talked about the Pistons a bit.

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