He doesn't garner much praise but to a man, Jason Maxiell is the type of teammate everyone adores — and every team needs.

Not able to shake free from other guards? The man simply known as "Max" will set a bone-crushing screen.

You get beat on a drive? You're hoping and praying Maxiell, generously listed at 6-foot-7 (closer to 6-5), can get over to the help side to block a shot, take a charge — or what's considered better by some old-school basketball heads, knock someone on his behind, making him think twice about coming to the basket next time.

Although he's being viewed by many as someone who's keeping the seat warm until Andre Drummond assumes a starting spot, Maxiell's contributions can go largely unnoticed.

His 9.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots are career highs early in this season, his best since the 2007-08 season when he finished ninth in the Sixth Man of the Year voting.

A man of few words, at least publicly, Maxiell was asked how he would describe himself.

"I'd say someone who is hungry to get this record turned around," he said. "Our track record is horrible, so try to come out there, get the energy going and put us on the right path to a win."

He came into camp motivated, in large part because it's the last year of his contract and at 29 years old, there aren't many big deals left. But contrary to popular belief, Maxiell's production can't keep Drummond off the floor — it's on the staff to find a way to keep developing Drummond while maximizing "Max."

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121120/SPORTS0102/211200316#ixzz2CmBn06ut