Maurice Cheeks Wants Brandon Jennings to Play Better Defense

by December 12, 2013

Detroit Pistons head coach Maurice Cheeks knows that Brandon Jennings would like to be considered among the best point guards in the NBA, but says that can only happen when (if) he’s willing to D up. Per the Detroit News: “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. […] But with point guard being the deepest position in the league, one where there’s very few easy nights, Jennings can’t be a freeway to the lane, forcing teammates to clean up his mistakes. Jennings has a desire to be mentioned in the same breath as the league’s best point guards, so Cheeks is hoping he takes the defensive end as personally as he does his offense. ‘I think Jennings has a chance to be very good,’ Cheeks said. ‘And steps, I keep talking about steps. You take steps, you get better at defending your position. That’s how you become one of those elite players. You don’t become elite by having someone else guard your guy.'”