Detroit Pistons: Best coach for defense from the early frontrunners?

New Orleans Pelicans assistant coach Jarron Collins Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans assistant coach Jarron Collins Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

The first order of business for the Detroit Pistons this offseason is to find their next head coach after Dwane Casey was moved to the front office.

They have begun the interview process and are mostly looking at top NBA assistants, though Kevin Ollie from Overtime Elite is also reportedly in the mix.

Of the early names mentioned, there are reportedly three frontrunners in Charles Lee, Jarron Collins and Ollie, but I’m sure the Pistons will have other interviews lined up beyond those names, as they are taking their time in an attempt to get it right.

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Whoever the next coach is, that person will be tasked with improving the defense, as Detroit was once again near the bottom of the league in points allowed and defensive efficiency, finishing 27th in both categories.

All three of these coaches have some chops in that area, but one of the frontrunners stands out as the one who could turn the Pistons’ defense around.

Detroit Pistons coach: Jarron Collins has a defensive mind

Jarron Collins left his assistant coaching job with the Golden State Warriors hoping to become a head coach in the NBA and that could happen with the Detroit Pistons.

Steve Kerr spoke highly of Collins, who was elevated to defensive coordinator for the team and was credited with helping turn the Warriors’ D into one of the best in the NBA. Collins has been well-liked wherever he’s been and Draymond Green spoke highly of his defensive schemes, which he called “******* phenomenal.”

This is what Steve Kerr had to say about Collins according to ESPN:

"“I’m going to really miss Jarron, both personally and professionally,” Kerr told The Undefeated in a statement. “He’s an excellent coach and a wonderful human being. It’s going to be different without him around, but he deserves the chance to continue his growth with the goal of ultimately becoming a head coach in the NBA. Jarron has all the skills necessary. He’s a great teacher and communicator, he’s smart and funny, and he knows the game.”"

Collins won three titles as an assistant in Golden State and the Warriors were 1st, 1st and 9th in defensive efficiency in those years, and Collins played a big hand in that. As defensive coordinator, he had the Warriors consistently in the top-5 in defense, even though their offense gets most of the attention.

Collins also did his thing in New Orleans, where he helped improve the Pelicans’ defense from 20th in defensive efficiency to 6th this season.

He has a proven track record of success when it comes to building a defense, and has familiarity with both Troy Weaver and Pistons’ center James Wiseman. As a former center himself, Collins may be the perfect guy to get the best out of the Pistons’ bigs defensively.

It’s hard to know what any assistant will be like in the big chair, but I like the idea of a coach that has been around success, as well as some of the most innovative coaching minds in the game today, and Collins also has shown he knows how to coach defense.

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