The Pistons backcourt is a tale of contrast in terms of its defensive production thus far this season, and Maurice Cheeks, soft spoken as he is, has begun to demand more from basketball’s most important position. While Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is beginning to garner attention for his defensive intensity, one couldn’t help but notice Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio dissect the Pistons defense in their 121-94 shellacking at the Palace Tuesday. Caldwell-Pope is beginning to find his footing, limiting touches for opposing shooting guards and generally being in good positions, a hard task for swingmen given the difference between college zone defenses and the island they’re often placed on while defending athletic shooting guards and small forwards. His counterpart, Brandon Jennings, has never been known as a defensive stalwart and was the point man in the Pistons’ porous pick-and-roll defense Tuesday night. Cheeks, one of the best point guard defenders of all time, seemingly issued a challenge to Jennings about becoming a better defender. Cheeks was initially asked about using Caldwell-Pope to defend point guards Jrue Holiday (New Orleans), Deron Williams (Brooklyn) and Damian Lillard (Portland), but used the question to turn the spotlight to his point guard.
Pistons' Maurice Cheeks challenges Brandon Jennings to tighten defense
Detroit News | Dec 12