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Rodney Stuckey was benched in today’s game against the Boston Celtics for refusing to re-enter the game Friday night against the Chicago Bulls.  What else does Stuckey have to do to lose the respect of Pistons fans?  Here he is, in his 4th year in the NBA and still acting like an immature young player in a season where leadership and respect is there for the taking.

I just hope the Pistons can get something for him this offseason when he leaves.  I apologize in advance for not shedding the same virtual tears when Rodney leaves as I did when Chauncey and Stuckey’s draft mate Arron Afflalo left the team. Now Kuester doen’t get a pass either, each one of us has a better chance at winning a million dollars playing blackjack online than John Kuester has of returning to Detroit next season.  Now on to the rest of the team, who are now playing out the string and earning time for next season:

  • The Pistons won the 1st and 4th quarters – but they lost the game in the 3rd by giving up 33 points to the (currently) 2nd seeded Boston Celtics
  • Shaquille O’Neal may have to hang it up this season after limping off badly in today’s game after only 5 minutes on the floor
  • Charlie Villanueva’s numbers are deceiving – sure he had a solid offensive game, but his points were canceled out as he scored 15 and was a team worst -15 on the night
  • Need4Sheed favorite Will Bynum started in place of Tracy McGrady, and ended up with 20 points and only 1 assist.

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  • Detroit got “Rondo’d” – Rajon Rondo finished with 14 assists and 5 turnovers.
  • I hate to admit it – Boston is pretty deep.  I know it’s hoping a lot that Jermaine O’Neal or Shaquille O’Neal stay healthy enough to give minutes but Baby Davis gives Boston a solid 6th man off the bench.  Delonte West is a solid guard off the bench.  This team can guard just about everyone on the perimeter, except maybe LeBron James – but we’ll see what Pierce and Jeff Green can do this postseason
  • Austin Daye must be in the dog house somewhat – either that, or he’s not worth giving much time on the floor at this point.  There’s really no excuse for him to play only 15 minutes when Prince and Rip play 30+
  • Super rookie Rodney White Greg Monroe had a down night – 11 points and 5 rebounds to go with a tough matchup all night – KG and Baby Davis
  • Hell, with all the turmoil going on on the Pistons sideline even Jason Maxiell saw some decent run in today’s game.  My how far this team has fallen in his time on the roster.
  • Pistons coach JKIAFI John Kuester referred to Stuckey’s benching as a “setback” in his “growth process” – aka “Stuckey is still immature, even in his 4th year in the league.  On a team dying for a leader to step up.”

Stuckey: “Mentally, mentally, I’m mentally drained. Hopefully I can get through these six games and we’ll see what happens next year.”  Via The Detroit News

Up next on “As The World Turns” the Pistons schedule are the young and peppy Wizards lead by newcomers Jordan Crawford and John Wall.  Detroit will have their hands full if Ben Wallace does not play again because of the size the Wizards have on their front line with Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee.

I usually attend the Wizards game when the Pistons are town but this year, I’m going to save my money and watch it on TV.  Stay tuned this week as rumor has it Natalie and I are going to pump out another podcast – I will be there ready to apologize to you all for saying the Pistons would go 9-3 to close out the season and they would make the playoffs.  I’m sure we’ll also continue to talk about Rodney Stuckey, Coach Kuester, how Natalie’s dog saved her life, and more!

The latest incarnation of the Detroit Pistons’ rotation can be viewed as a bit of a “success” because of the success the team has had since the benching of former starting shooting guard, Richard Hamilton. Despite rumors saying he was benched to avoid injury for a trade, or for being benched for being a poor influence to a young group of players, it’s hard for one to argue that the team has not been better off without Hamilton in the lineup.

Tonight, however, the new lineup could not contain the defending Eastern Conference Champs in Boston. Detroit took a small lead at half after shooting 58% from the field in the 2nd quarter. It was an odd game all around for both teams: Tracy McGrady played 37 minutes for Detroit, Shaquille O’Neal was diving on the floor for loose balls, etc. At the end though, all the strange things that we saw resulted in a familiar sight for Pistons’ fans as Detroit lost to the Celtics in Boston, 86-82. Get to the highlights you’re saying? Sure thing:

  • Sometime during the 2nd quarter, Richard Hamilton got up off the bench and started stretching.  It was the most game action he’s seen in the last 4 games.
  • Stuckey has played well at the 2 since Hamilton’s benching – tonight he didn’t shoot well (5-14 from the field) in 28 minutes.
  • Mr. McGrady played 37 minutes and started at the point again for the Pistons.  Although he didn’t shoot too well from the field, he did provide 7 assists and has proven to be the most consistent backcourt player on the roster so far this season.
  • Ben Wallace was out with an ankle tonight which meant that Shaquille O’Neal basically had an open lane to the basket all night.  Shaq finished the game with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
  • Boston outrebounded Detroit 47-32. … lol
  • Rajon Rondo played a game high 40 minutes and did not register double digits in points, rebounds, or assists but he nearly had a triple double.  Rondo also picked up a technical foul in the game.
  • Charlie V played 30 minutes off the bench for Detroit – it seems as if my wishes of Charlie becoming a starter for this team are fading by the game.
  • Highlights of the game via

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  • How about Chris Wilcox?  He’s getting close to 10 and 10 a night per 36, which isn’t bad for a $3m per year power forward.  Wilcox added 9 points with 7 rebounds to go with 1 blocked shot.
  • It looked like Detroit was going to pull out the win until they were unable to score a point in the final 2 minutes 43 seconds of the game.
  • This loss ended the longest winning streak of the season for the Pistons.  Think about that… 3 wins in a row
  • My how far we’ve fallen
  • Bynumite with 2 points in 10 minutes off the bench.
  • Nothing came of the KG – @CV31 battle.  I was sure KG would get one or two cheap shots in.
Charlie Villanueva and Kevin Garnett

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  • No playing time for Hamilton, Maxiell or DaJuan Summers tonight while Luke Harangody was the only Celtic healthy enough to play, but did not see action.
  • I really dislike the Boston Celtics and Tommy Heinsohn.

How fitting that the next game for the Pistons after the New Jersey Nets owner said “No deal” for Carmelo Anthony, is against the New Jersey Nets in New Jersey?

Hopefully Avery Johnson and Rip can share a good laugh during pre-game and maybe even a few pleasantries.  Detroit travels to New Jersey for a Friday night game against Kris Humphries and the New Jersey Nets.

If you follow my twitter feed (shameless plug here), you would see that I was counting down the minutes until Orlando started hitting their 3 point shots.  Orlando struggled with their 3 point shooting for the better part of the game, shooting 5-15 from 3 until early in the 4th quarter.  Orlando, behind the strong shooting of JJ Redick and Mickael Pietrus, finished the game by hitting 5 of their final 9 attempts from 3, to finish overall 10-24 from behind the long line.

I really have a deep dis-like for Dwight Howard, almost as deep as my dis-like for LeBron James, so when he gets a technical foul while playing against Detroit it makes my night.  I don’t know why I dis-like Howard, to be honest.  I think it’s because he’s begged and pleaded for respect from the officials, on top of stealing Shaquille O’Neal’s nickname and overall just being a clown.  My friend, Brian Spaeth, calls him “Sillycape” because of his antics at the NBA Dunk Contest the last 2 seasons.  Anyway, enough whining about superstars that aren’t on our roster:

  • Congratulations to Ben Wallace, who became the 3rd 4th active player in the NBA to grab 10,000 rebounds. We all know Ben’s story, so there’s no reason to re-hash here. Ben didn’t start off his career with the pomp and circumstance of Shaq or Tim Duncan (or Kevin Garnett) – so for him to finally get to 10,000 rebounds really shows the effort he has put into his game night in and night out. Well done, Mr. Wallace.
  • Doesn’t it seem like Jameer Nelson always struggles against the Pistons?  Tonight he scored 9 points on 4-12 shooting and 9 assists.  (He averages just over 12 points a game against Detroit in his career, on 45% shooting)
  • Jason Maxiell starts again, and plays 22 minutes but only has 1 rebound.. oh and, speaking of rebounds…
  • Detroit outrebounded again, 41-36.
  • Greg Monroe played about as well as you can expect a rookie that received his first extended playing time of his short career.  In 24 minutes on the floor, Monroe played Dwight Howard tough in the paint while scoring 4 points and pulling down 4 rebounds.  Monroe also blocked 2 shots, including a fast break block on a layup attempt by Jameer Nelson after he had just laid out on the floor for a loose ball the previous possession.
  • Redick and Pietrus were 5-11 from behind the long line.
  • The game was close for 3 and a half quarters.  Poor rotation on D killed the Pistons in the end.
  • No Austin Daye?
  • Tayshaun Prince continues his solid streak of play as of late – 16 points on 7-12 shooting and a couple of dagger 3′s after some good ball movement during the possessions.
Tayshaun Prince

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  • Dwight Howard was virtually invisible on the offensive end.  He put up 8 shots, and score 9 total points.  Monroe and Ben Wallace locked him down pretty good.
  • One of the best Pistons plays all season via

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Tough way to lose, if you ask me.  The ball movement was crisp, the defensive rotations were on point it’s just… it wasn’t enough to overcome the Magic and their ability to shoot the 3 ball tonight.  I think Austin Daye could’ve helped the team tonight, in a matchup against Rashard Lewis.  I believe Ben Gordon couldn’t get comfortable out on the court with the taller defenders leaning on him all night.  The screens weren’t real crisp, Hamilton and Gordon got hung up in their man while waiting for a screen to be set or their man jumped in front of the screener before they could curl.

The Pistons don’t have a chance to sit back and think about this loss though, because tomorrow night they’re going to go up against Joel Anthony and the Miami Heat.  Miami is coming off of some pretty bad losses recently and are no longer really on pace to be the best team in the history of the NBA (not to mention the players are pushing the coaches around now too). It’ll be a tough game for the Pistons but, with the Heat’s recent struggles and the much overhyped “Homecoming” for LeBrick LeTravel LeCrabDribble LeWhine LeJerk LeBron James, Detroit is in prime position to squeak one out.