- The Season's Over -

Jason Maxiell Eats Infants for Breakfast

March 30, 2007

Jason Maxiell

My ETB associate and I made a bet before the NBA season began that second-year Detroit Pistons forward Jason Maxiell would finish higher in Yahoo! fantasy rankings than the Boston Celtics’ Al Jefferson. Obviously, that bet hasn’t worked out for me, but hey, he still owes me 10 cents for Jim Leyland getting the nod over Ron Gardenhire for MLB Manager of the Year last season. So there.

Compared to Big Al, who should be considered a frontrunner for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award along with Leandro Barbosa, Maxiell is a bit player. But that’s not being fair to a guy who’s playing for a championship contender behind veterans like ‘Sheed Wallace, Chris Webber, and Antonio McDyess. Totally different situation, and though I’m not saying Mad Maxx would be posting similar numbers as Jefferson given the minutes (Al is much farther along in his game), he would undoubtedly be logging more than the 14 ticks he’s getting in Detroit if playing for most other teams.

If you’ve had the opportunity to see Maxiell in action, he likely left a lasting impression. He still has issues with maintaining consistency, but on most nights this guy brings instant energy off the bench as he blocks shots, runs the floor, steals rebounds, and throws down absolutely brutal dunks. Anyone see him stuff Carmelo Anthony’s dunk attempt on Monday night? Sick.

He’s stepped up his game enough to get the starting nod when Wallace’s odd injuries and suspensions keep him out of the lineup… and he’s performed relatively well in those stints. Just this past Sunday, Maxiell absolutely owned the Bucks, putting up 19 points on 9-13 shooting, with 15 rebounds and 4 blocked shots in 35 minutes of action. “Everyone’s taller than me, of course,” Maxiell said after the game. “But down low it was a good feeling to be down there, offensive rebounding and blocking shots and just playing the game.”

Long story short, this guy is a beast. He sleeps in a dark cave, is thrown buckets of meat and bones every few days, and works out by benchpressing elephant carcasses. “One of our guys was kidding that we kind of keep him over there, kind of chained up,” coach Flip Saunders recently said, “and when we let him loose we feel sorry for the other team because he really goes.” I’ve been preaching the Maxiell cause all year, and was glad to see this morning that I’m not the only one who’s noticed his development.

Paul Ladewski at The Courier News today characterizes Maxiell as “the latest Dumars discovery — as in late first-round steal:”

In his second season, Maxiell, chosen No. 26 overall by the Pistons in the 2005 NBA draft, has statistics very similar to those of Bulls first-rounder Tyrus Thomas, who was drafted No. 4 overall in 2006. “(Maxiell) is one of those guys that, no matter where he is on the floor when the shot goes up, he’s all over the glass,” Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. “We’ve got to have bodies on him and be aware of him. Not only is he an offensive rebound threat, but he can catch (the ball) and do things with it. He can score in the low post and drive with the ball. He’s a very good young player.”

Praise from Scott Skiles for a Detroit Piston? That ranks right up there with a Red Sox fan politely cheering for a Derek Jeter game-winning home run over the Sox in a playoff game. For now, Maxiell is mostly relegated to back-up duty, but the opportunity will be there for more minutes in the near future. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles it when that time comes.

A poor Metallica track runs over this clip, but this is otherwise a fantastic Maxiell highlight reel. Check out how many players he posterizes. It’s not even fair.

4 Comments »Posted by Brian Spencer on Mar. 30, 2007 at 11:21 am in NBA

4 Responses

[...] folks at Empty the Bench love Jason Maxiell as much as we [...]

Posted by: Jason Maxiell is getting noticed at Detroit Bad Boys on March 30th, 2007 at 1:19 pm

Jason Maxiell Eats Infants for Breakfast…

Empty the Bench ……

Posted by: PistonsForum.com on March 31st, 2007 at 3:09 pm

As a Pistons fan, it’s hard to miss the periods of the game when J-Max is in the lineup. He may be far undersized to play on the block, or at least as far as height is concerned, but he is truly a beast. Not only does he always bring energy, he has the tenacity and athleticism that more than makes up for his size. He always gives it his all, whether he is collecting offensive rebounds for jams in the paint, boxing out on defense, or D-ing up against players that are much taller than him, it is clear that Jason Maxiell has a future in Detroit because of heart, passion, and hard work alone. Add in his actual skills, and it looks like we have a player who will belong in a Pistons uniform for a long time.

Posted by: ripismoney on April 1st, 2007 at 11:21 am

[...] a successful sophomore season, undersized-but-ferocious power forward Jason Maxiell stands to have more helpings at the infant buffet. And the 2007/08 season should finally see Amir Johnson, a second-round pick two years ago straight [...]

Posted by: Daily Basketball » Draft Preview: Detroit Pistons on June 25th, 2007 at 4:40 pm

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