Pistons training camp: Mid-range and the backup big

Devin Booker #1 stands with head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Devin Booker #1 stands with head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons have completed their second day of training camp and there is plenty to be excited about.

The first preseason game will be on Sunday and we are starting to get an idea of what we might see in terms of personnel and rotations, though coach Monty Williams is still playing it close to the vest.

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Williams was asked a couple of interesting questions after yesterday’s practice and clarified earlier answers that will probably put some fans at ease.

Detroit Pistons training camp: Monty Williams on the mid-range jumper

Williams was asked his feelings on the-mid range jumper, which is pertinent considering he’s had three of the best mid-range shooters in the game in Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Chris Paul and now has another one in Cade Cunningham.

I liked Williams’ answer, which was that scoring helps set up the defense, which sticks to the theme of defense first that he talked about earlier in the week. This was a huge problem for the Pistons, as their bad offense fed into their bad defense and vice versa. Because they weren’t shooting a high percentage, their defense often didn’t get a chance to set, and because they weren’t getting stops, they weren’t getting easy fastbreak and transition buckets at the other end.

He went onto say that too many mid-range shots is not efficient, but chucking 3-point shots just because the data says so also isn’t smart, as those misses often lead to fast breaks.

The Detroit Pistons have some of the best long-range shooters in the game in Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks and Joe Harris, so I expect we’ll see the floor spread much more effectively this season, and Cunningham taking most of the mid-range jumpers in the space created.

What about the two bigs?

Monty Williams set off Pistons’ Twitter during Media Day when he talked about using Jalen Duren at the four. He clarified that answer somewhat yesterday, talking about James Wiseman and Marvin Bagley III as candidates for the “backup big spot,” which was a relief.

Fans probably overreacted a bit to his first answer, and taken in context he was really just talking about Duren’s athleticism and his ability, not necessarily how he will be deployed.

We will know more soon, as the first preseason game is this weekend and we’ll start to get an idea of who will be in the rotation and how they will be used.

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