Rick Mahorn can see positives for Pistons

Terry Foster
The Detroit News

Pontiac — Rick Mahorn didn't wow opponents with thunderous dunks and hook shots when he played for the Pistons in the 1980s.

He was a defensive specialist who rebounded and knocked down an occasional jump shot — or guard.

So he knows a thing or two about the inside game, and is happy to pass along his knowledge to Andre Drummond.

"It's just consistency," Mahorn said before meeting students with disabilities at the Kennedy Center on Tuesday. "To get to a different level you have to become consistent. You don't need to embrace a bunch of moves. You embrace the one move that helps you. Then you get a counter move. What happens if a team stops the one move. You need a counter."

Drummond has developed a counter since the Pistons season ended — a jump hook — and hopes to add an up-and-under dip and sweep hook.

"When you perfect (different) moves they don't know what you are going to hit them with next," Mahorn said. "But you don't need a multiple of weapons to upgrade your game. You just have to reach a consistent level."

Mahorn, color analyst on Pistons radio broadcasts, gets a first-hand view of the team.

He likes coach Stan Van Gundy's direction, but said the players need to adjust on the fly, something they were unable to do when point guard Brandon Jennings went down with a season-ending Achilles injury.

Point guard Reggie Jackson was acquired from the Thunder to take charge, but he and the rest of the team never completely jelled.

Jackson made strides, getting to know teammates and taking advice from Tayshaun Prince and Caron Butler. And he vowed to stay in contact with teammates during the summer and encourage a strong work ethic this offseason.

"You have to lead by example," Mahorn said. "You can't deviate from it. You have to be the first one in and the last one to leave. You have to help that guy who is struggling. That is how leadership works.

"Whether you are a vocal, physical or mental leader on a young team, you all have to be on the same page."

One player who might not be on the same page is power forward Greg Monroe.

Monroe will be a free agent July 1, and both he and Pistons officials say there's a chance he could return. But on the business side of the NBA, Monroe could get a bigger and better contract elsewhere. That's why Van Gundy already is working on a game plan.

"Players have to take care of themselves and their family," Mahorn said. "If (Monroe doesn't return), I am sure Stan and his staff have another plan. You have to bring in a player that fits your system or look at the best available player at that position in free agency or draft."