For Maxiell, less (weight) is moreJuly 10, 2007BY KRISTA JAHNKEFREE PRESS SPORTS WRITERLAS VEGAS -- Gone is the big barrel chest, the thickness that made it seem all his power was ballooned up right below his neck.A leaner Jason Maxiell showed up at the Las Vegas summer league -- on a volunteer basis, by the way -- last week. A good 30 pounds lighter, the third-year Pistons forward looks almost like a different person.AdvertisementThe Pistons are hoping he plays like the person who became a regular in the rotation last season. If anything, without the extra poundage, he's more explosive -- and quicker, too."Overall, it helps everything, including obviously his ability to get to the basket quicker," said Pistons assistant coach Terry Porter, who is running the team's summer league. "He might not be able to bang as much as he's lost those few pounds, but I think that even helps him with his quickness around the basket and his ability to finish."He opened the team's five-game schedule by scoring 22 points against Philadelphia, and he did so without relying on his dunking ability.Instead, he focused on his mid-range shot, and he finished the game shooting 7-for-10 from the floor, mixing his usual tip-ins and a dunk or two with short hooks and jumpers."That's a key area for him to try and make that addition to his game going forward," Porter said. "Just this week won't be the answer. He's still going to have to do more during the rest of the summer -- get more reps up, try to get a feel for that and get comfortable."He's already welcoming the comfortable feeling he has in his new skin.Maxiell said he wasn't particularly trying to lose weight. But that's Maxiell -- never one to boast about his success, happy to chalk up positive developments to mere chance.But trying or not, since the Pistons lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals, Maxiell has whittled down from about 265 pounds to 235, mostly because of a change in eating habits.He calls it the "Green Diet," and if it wasn't so simple, he might want to think about trademarking it to bring in some extra income. The diet works like this: He eats salad, green vegetables and chicken. That's it.His fianc?e often cooks the chicken for him, and he said he prepares it dressed only in low-fat, zesty Italian dressing. And no, he said, no matter how many meals he consumes it, he never grows tired of it."No, not really," Maxiell said. "I just like it."Maxiell said he'd like to stay at his current weight until the beginning of training camp. But he knows that it's likely a few pounds will return when the team starts its regular-season travel routine in November."It's more eating," Maxiell said. "Wake up earlier, first of all, so I eat breakfast. Then a pregame meal. Then after the game. Eating a lot on the plane and late-night meals. It's just eating a lot during the season."But the Pistons don't doubt that he could keep things under control, given the effort he has shown to improve his game heading into a season where more responsibility is coming his way.Third-year players don't typically show up at summer league, a place reserved for rookies, second-year players, the occasional rehabbing veteran and guys just hoping to stick to someone's roster.At this point, most veterans are busy holding summer camps for kids, vacationing, spending time with family or working out on their own, without the heavy watch of league officials and team bosses.But Maxiell, wanting to meet the rookies, decided Vegas would work for him."I could have stayed home and relaxed," he said. "But I just came out here to get to know the young fellas who are coming in next year, and get the feeling of being around family again, be a team."Still, showing up in Las Vegas tells the coaches a lot."He just wants to get better," Porter said. "That says a lot about that right there."Guess he got sick of eating babies..