Brandon Knight's absence could create a convenient excuse if the Pistons wanted one for their porous perimeter defense since the All-Star break.

It's been a parade of open shots — almost a virtual layup line all over the place as the Pistons have yielded more than 100 points in three of their four losses since returning from the break.

When it was suggested to Pistons coach Lawrence Frank that Knight's defensive awareness was being missed on the perimeter, Frank would have none of it.

"It has nothing to do with personnel, nothing to do with who's on the floor," said Frank at the Wednesday morning shoot-around at the Verizon Center, as the Pistons prepared to play the Wizards.

"If you wanna write it, say it, but I'm telling you: no. Brandon's a good defender, but regardless of who's on the floor, everyone is capable of getting the job done."

Jason Maxiell took the challenge personally in the third quarter of the Pistons' 96-95 victory Wednesday night, blocking four shots in his best activity in weeks.

"I thought he really clogged down that paint, I thought he was great," Frank said. "Sometimes when you have a group that's rolling, you know you want to finish a game with them. When do you sub them out?"

Maxiell also had eight rebounds and two dunks.

"Our group owned up to the fact that we hadn't shown the same resolve we had prior to the break," Frank said. "We had an inner confidence that regardless what happened, we were gonna keep our focus."



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130228/SPORTS0102/302280355#ixzz2MCpxTE6v