Pistons sit top pick Greg Monroe

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Terry Foster
The Detroit News

Auburn Hills — Greg Monroe’s debut in a Pistons uniform took a little side road in the opener. And it wasn’t something the rookie did or didn’t do.

It was just that Jason Maxiell provided the Pistons a lot of energy, even though the team lost to the Nets, 101-98.

“Greg is going to be a big contributor to this situation, and I have the utmost confidence in him,” coach John Kuester said. “Max played with more energy than I had seen at times. Greg is going to be somebody who continues to work hard and his chance is going to come.”

Monroe, at 6-foot-10, didn’t play at all Wednesday, but said he was ready to play and believes he can help the team.

“I’m just another big body who can come in score, rebound, work hard and make plays for my teammates and work hard on the defensive end,” said Monroe, the No. 7 pick in the draft.

Picking on Wallace

Kuester expects opponents to try the “Hack a Ben” technique on Ben Wallace , especially down the stretch.

Nets coach Avery Johnson proved that point in the season-opener, having his players foul Wallace after his team fell behind in the final 31/2 minutes.

After making his first free throw, Wallace missed five in a row and finished 2-for-8.

“It’s gonna happen at times, and you know what, Ben is going to step up at the line and knock them in,” Kuester said.

“That’s the way I look at it.”

Wallace is a career 41.7 percent free-throw shooter, but is at 40.5 percent since 2008-09.

Oct. 29, 2010