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I'm not giving up on this series but one thing is obvious from last nights game if we don't use our bench more in game 4 we will loose.Our struggles on offense can be attributed to one thing TIRED LEGS. Our starters have been playing too many minutes. We have the best starting 5 in basketball.We need to spend the off season improving our bench. What is our cap situation next year?Do we still have our MLE?

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Arroyo was supposed to be our Mike James this year. McD was supposed to be a combination of Corliss and Memo. Problem is, we don't even play Arroyo and we have both Lindsey and EC but neither are as effective as they were last year. Makes it tough. We're being exposed in the play-offs so far. Not looking very good, but it's not over yet so...I think if we can win this series we'll be a bit moer confident going into the Miami series knowing that we're playing a team similar to the Lakers of last year and knowing that we're battle worn while the Heat aren't. I'm just hoping we can get out of this series as it is now.

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I think it's clear that we need some sort of "energy guy." Like Jon Barry. Somebody to fire up this team when they go into lulls for three quarters at a time.

Darko being able to play 5 - 10 minutes a game would also go a long way towards keeping our starters fresh for the playoffs.

But I'm not giving up on this season either. We just have to win this next game and it's a three game series and we have home court.

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Tired legs are not an issue. We've played three games in six days after having close to a week off. These guys are used to playing four games in five days in four different cities a few times each year.

A few stats (mins per playoff game last-this)

Hamilton 40.1-43.5

Billups 38.3-37.6

R. Wallace 35-34.4

Prince 34.6-44.0

B. Wallace 40.2-40.5

Williamson 14.9 McDyess 19.9

Hunter 11.9-14.0

Okur 11.5 (22 gms)

M. James 8.9

Really the only one seeing significant PT this year are Prince and Hunter to a small extent. I think that people think Mike James played more than he actually did too. People talk as though he was out there 12-15 minutes a game. At least that's the feel I get from the talk, but he was more around nine minutes. That said it's obviously those nine minutes he played that we are having tremendous difficulty filling.

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black sandals - playing Darko any significant playing time during key situations will keep our starters fresh all summer long if you get my drift.

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Originally posted by DTroppens

black sandals - playing Darko any significant playing time during key situations will keep our starters fresh all summer long if you get my drift.

Haha, good one. I don't mean to say that he should play no matter what. But if he could get to a level of competency that would result in him getting a few minutes here and there, it would help keep our starters fresh.

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This year's team is better than last year's team. McDyess contributes much more off the bench than Okur, Rasheed is healthy, and Prince is more consistent offensively. Mike James was too sporadic so the loss of him has not hurt much. Depth isn't the issue. We were supposed to have Delfino, but it's a non-issue because we didn't have him last year either. The Pacers are the team that know the Pistons the best so I'd expect them to put up quite a good fight. It was a mistake to ever think we could sweep them.

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DT...youjust showed a huge difference though. 21 minutes from our reserve guards and 26 mins from our reserve forwards as compared to 15 mins for our reserve guards and 20 mins from our reserve forwards. That's pretty significant.

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DaBishop,

I think the guard minutes are an issue. As I stated I think that's significant. The forward issue I don't think is an issue.

MotownRandy,

Clearly one big difference between this season's team and last year's team is their effort. It simply isn't there at the same level as it was last season or really any of the last four seasons. That's a very big difference.

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black sandals - playing Darko any significant playing time during key situations will keep our starters fresh all summer long if you get my drift

Yeah, and maybe Larry Brown should have played him more during the SEASON...so he could play more now!

You catchin' my drift, Dave :bandit:

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I think it would have mattered more than you want to admit, though yes, not as much as maybe I think it would have.

Either way, it could have only helped at this point...believe it or not, it's true -- and Larry Brown's ego took that away!

:bandit:

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Originally posted by JonBenke

I think it would have mattered more than you want to admit, though yes, not as much as maybe I think it would have.

Either way, it could have only helped at this point...believe it or not, it's true -- and Larry Brown's ego took that away!

:bandit:

It's not true. Dave is right, the problem isn't at the forward/center spot. A three man rotation in those spots is fine, none of those guys are getting too many minutes. It's Prince that is playing too much.

I am really starting to think leaving Delfino off the playoff roster was a bad move. I know they were worried about his knee, but its not like Ham is going to give them anything. Even if Delfino got hurt again and couldn't go, big deal. Even if they go to the Finals, Ham will not give them one productive minute in the playoffs. Delfino could have given Rip and Prince a rest and possibly provide some scoring from the bench.

I think Brown needs to find a way to get five good minutes a half from Dupree. That would allow Prince not to play 43+ minutes a game at least. Then use Hunter/Arroyo to spell the guards some.

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I am not talking about Darko playing right now, ripping it up...and all that. It's the playoffs now, I AM WATCHING EVERY GAME, unlike the regular season. Dice and Sheed, especially Sheed...look overworked and very tired, it's sick how obvious that is, how can you not see it?

Darko - playing more in the regular season - would have made these two more fresh, I think...RIGHT NOW!

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To the Darko fans who have an unusual man-love for the guy (and I'd put Jon on that list)....

You forget. If they shelved the Wallaces and McDyess a tad more and went deeper on the bench in the frontcourt the next option would NOT BE Darko. The unquestionable move would be to go to Campbell. He's a vet. He's smart and understands the NBA game much better than Darko does right now. If someone else in the frontcourt was to get 10 minutes, it would be Campbell.

And about being tired. This team isn't physically tired. They sometimes don't show up mentally because it seems they don't think they have to show up mentally, but I've never thought physical fatigue has ever been an issue in the playoffs.

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Originally posted by DTroppens

To the Darko fans who have an unusual man-love for the guy (and I'd put Jon on that list)....

You forget. If they shelved the Wallaces and McDyess a tad more and went deeper on the bench in the frontcourt the next option would NOT BE Darko. The unquestionable move would be to go to Campbell. He's a vet. He's smart and understands the NBA game much better than Darko does right now. If someone else in the frontcourt was to get 10 minutes, it would be Campbell.

Darko is already better than Campbell on both sides of the ball. But Larry will go to Campbell before Darko cause Campbell is a Vet.

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You still think I am talking about playing Darko RIGHT NOW, which is quite sad, being I have posted it in plain english;

I am not talking about Darko playing right now

I am talking about how tired Sheed and Dice look, which stems from them being overworked all season long -- do you get it?

Shaq is going to be more than well rested, which will help them more than if Shaq was TIRED AND OVERWORKED!

It's going to take allot to beat the Pacers...if we beat them at all, what do you think will be left in the tank for Miami?

Again; I HOPE THEY FIGURE IT OUT, and Sheed stops shooting tiresome jump shots, I really do -- GO PISTONS :devious:

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but I've never thought physical fatigue has ever been an issue in the playoffs

TIRESOME JUMP SHOTS!

They're called that...for a reason!

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Every player in the NBA is "tired" in the sense that they've played an entire sesaon.

I don't buy the story that our players are any more tired than anyone else in the NBA. We just had almost a week off. Indiana has been playing games consistently since the playoffs started. Tell me who is more tired.

Sheed averaged 34 minutes during the regular season, Ben averaged 36 minutes and didn't play in eight games. McDyess played 23 minutes. That hardly sounds like taxing regular season minutes. That's at least a good quarter off for everyone in each game they played.

A year ago Sheed averaged 30.6 minutes with Detroit and 37 minutes with Portland. and Ben 37.7 minutes. What McDyess played this year compares favorably with the minutes he's played in each of the last four seasons. We didn't state this was an issue last year. How you can try to argue a guy that's coming off the bench and playing not even in half the game is taxing really makes little sense. These aren't guys playing at the local Y once a week. I just don't see where people think these guys were stretched during the season. Ben played less this season than he ever has in his Pistons' career. This frontcourt is not overworked.

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Jon, you are just wrong on this one. Sheed, Dyess and Ben all look fine to me. I have watched over 80 Pistons games this year and they look the same now as they did at the start of the year.

Dave is right, they just had a week off, what would they be tired from? Your claim losses big time validity when you say Dyess looks tired. What would he be tired from? He only played 24 minutes a game this year. I doubt he has played over that in any playoff game yet, and is coming off a week off. He looks to be in great physical condition, so what exactly is he tired from?

Again, our big men are fine. A three man rotation is OK for them. It gives Dyess 20 or so minutes from the bench and keeps Rasheed and Ben in the high 30's for minutes. That is just fine.

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Deleterious,

I'm going to count the games that were on TV today. Over 80 games. Okay with playoff games you are probably right.

For the record I missed one entire game this year. Last year I missed the New Jersey OT game because I forgot to put a tape in the VCR.

I have cheated a bit this year though. Last year I taped the game if I was going to miss any of it. This year at the season's end I fudged with that down the stretch. If I knew I was going to be home by sometime in the second quarter I joined the game in progress. So this year I have seen a good portion of every game but one. And I think the only game that wasn't on TV this year was the Martin Luther King Jr. game.

That's become a traditional Troppens game to go to.

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Originally posted by DTroppens

Deleterious,

I'm going to count the games that were on TV today. Over 80 games. Okay with playoff games you are probably right.

For the record I missed one entire game this year. Last year I missed the New Jersey OT game because I forgot to put a tape in the VCR.

I have cheated a bit this year though. Last year I taped the game if I was going to miss any of it. This year at the season's end I fudged with that down the stretch. If I knew I was going to be home by sometime in the second quarter I joined the game in progress. So this year I have seen a good portion of every game but one. And I think the only game that wasn't on TV this year was the Martin Luther King Jr. game.

That's become a traditional Troppens game to go to.

I catch most games live, but I do tape a few during the season, mostly weekend games. I missed 3-4 games this year I think. Saw all the playoff games so far.

The MLK game was on TV. They played Phoenix at home, Nash was hurt and did not play. Pistons won by 20 or so I think. It was on at like 2 P.M. on a Monday, so if you didn't have MLK day off, I doubt you even knew it was on.

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I don't think the problem with the bench is creating fatigue as much as it is there isn't a spark coming off there like in the past. There isn't a scoring threat, or someone to change the game like last season. Arroyo at first added that, but then quickly disappeared. We need a player that will change the game when they come in, pace, scoring, etc. Add to that the fact that Lindsay and Elden are getting REALLY old, and the bench will need additions this offseason, keeping in mind that Tayshaun and Ben have contracts coming up. There lies the real challenge for JoeD the next few years.

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