The Pistons' competition to fill the frontcourt starting spot alongside Rasheed Wallace didn't last long. With Michael Curry's preference for having Antonio McDyess come off the bench, the first-year coach has elevated Amir Johnson to the first unit. That means Jason Maxiell and newcomer Kwame Brown also will fill reserve roles. Johnson has never started an NBA game, but Curry told the Detroit News that he likes the 2005 second-round pick's ability to contribute without needing the ball:
Curry was careful not to make any direct comparisons to former Piston Ben Wallace, but he believes Johnson can bring some of the same intangibles to the starting unit Wallace did.
"Ben could make a tremendous impact on a game without having any plays run for him. Amir is like Ben in that sense," Curry said. "Amir can impact a game by how he rebounds, he can impact on the speed in which we play, offensively and defensively. His presence will be a welcome addition to that group."
• Curry: Johnson is Pistons' starting power forward (Detroit News)