Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, Josh Smith, Maurice Cheeks

Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond might be better off taking turns with Pistons


Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond – arguably the NBA’s most intriguing front line – combined for 55 points, 29 rebounds and nine assists in the Pistons’ season-opening victory over the Wizards.

That alone doesn’t answer all the questions about how they fit together, but it at least quells some of the doubt.

However, the trio’s success didn’t all come together. The Pistons outscored the Wizards when the three played together, but Detroit actually played better when one – and exactly one – sat.


Of course, that doesn’t tell the whole story. There are three different two-big groups the Pistons can use and three different one-big groups. Here’s how each that Maurice Cheeks used against Washington performed:


It’s important to remember this is a small sample, and Cheeks is using lineups that he believes have the best chance given whom the opponent has on the floor. We need a lot more data before drawing any conclusions.

But the early returns support what many, myself included, believed before the season. The primary value of having Smith, Monroe and Drummond comes from putting two of them on the court for most of the game rather than using all three at once. There are times when all three sharing the court is advantageous, but that’s secondary, and if the Pistons rely on using all three at once, it could be problematic.

It’s early, though, and this is just one data of point of many yet to come.

Anthony Bennett moves around, dunks on Lakers’ Upshaw (VIDEO)

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If you believe there is a difference between being dunked on and being dunked around, this definitely falls in the latter category.

Still, it’s an impressive move by Toronto’s Anthony Bennett to make the move and dunk around Lakers’ big man Robert Upshaw during the Raptors’ 105-97 preseason win over the Lakers Thursday night.

Bennett only had four points, but Kyle Lowry had another impressive preseason outing with 25. He has looked sharp. Julius Randle had 17 for the Lakers on 7-of-10 shooting.

Report: Cavs sign Dionte Christmas

Dionte Christmas
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The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:

In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.