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Simple Simon

20 Game Review

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Now that one quarter of the season is done we can probably make an accurate assesment of the Pistons. We have been doing it all through the season anyway so maybe it isn't that necessary but I just want to say one thing. Our record is 13-7, one win short of last years 20 game mark of 14-6. This shouldn't alarm anyone because last year we went into a huge funk at this point and even fell below .500 before recovering and attaining a 26-21 record at the break on our way to 50 wins. I think we won't have a period where we struggle like we did last year and we should easily be able to match those 50 victories if not exceed it.

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There is a lot of upside with this team. I don't know if they will win 50 or not but when the playoffs come I think they will be a better team.

Still a great concern has to be our halfcourt offense. How that develops will be vital. That's why I'd like to see more of Okur to see what he can do. We know what Z can do right now. I'd like to see him be more decisive (as he was during the preseason) and look to get touches more often than shots. Unfortunately when he gets it inside you know his only option is to put the ball up regardless what the defense is doing.

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The only thing that really disturbs me so far is Carlisle's stubborness. He's way to set on his player rotations and doesn't seem willing to stray from them even if someone is playing really well. Hamilton should be getting more than 30 minutes a game and there's no way Chucky should have played 6 more minutes than Chauncey did last night. Chauncey played a much better all around game. I'm hoping he was playing it safe because of Chauncey's ankle, but I doubt his minutes would have been much different even if he was 100%. If someone is playing really well, then don't sit him down for an entire quarter, just because you have a set rotation.

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I will agree that Hamilton should play more. He needs to start getting on the court about as much as Ben Wallace does - about 35-40 minutes a game - at least sometimes. It's frustrating to see him see so many great first quarters only to sit most of the second.

But I really feel Carlisle hasn't been very stubborn at all. He's fiddled with the rotationsl quite a bit in fact. For example Curry has gone from starter to sitting the bench the entire game for a few games to starter again. Robinson from bench player to starter and Rebraca from starter to reseve to seeing some of his time being taken away from Okur last night.

If anything maybe he's juggled around with it too much in certain areas.

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Last years team could score more....I think Pistons will win 48 games this year and lose in 2nd round of playoffs again. John Berry is the Pete Rose of the Pistons...competitive.

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I'm mainly talking about Billups and Rip when I refer to Carlisle's rotations. There's been a number of games this year when either or both Chucky and Barry haven't played well in the 2nd or 4th quarters and Carlisle won't substitute back in Chauncey and Rip, even if they've played good games. If Barry and Atkins aren't playing well, then get them out of the game and play the guy that is playing well, instead of just keeping them in because it's the 2nd quarter and that's when they play.

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I agree Rip needs a few more minutes. He is third in the league as far as scoring per 48 minutes goes. He jumps from 21st with a 20.8 points per game average to 31.5 per 48. When he is on the floor he uses the time. Here is a look at the top 5 scorers and what they do per 48 minutes with their rank per 48 minutes next to it.

Player Min/Game PPG Per 48 Min

McGrady 39.5 30.3 36.8 (1)

Iverson 42.5 28.3 32.0 (2)

Bryant 41.8 27.3 31.3 (5)

Pierce 40.3 24.9 29.6 (7)

Jamison 41.0 24.6 28.8 (9)

-----------------------------------------------------

Hamilton 31.7 20.8 (21) 30.8 (3)

That is a heck of a jump. As you can see Rip is 8-10 minutes shy of "superstar" minutes. Just look where he could possibly be with those added minutes.

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Don't forget that Billups is still nursing that ankle sprain too. That may be a reason why his minutes are not to where you'd like them to be too.

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Come the second half of the season, if this works out, we should have the freshest legs on the court. If we can keep playing at this level with the rotation and limited minutes it could be interesting. I might just be giving more credit than is due but come playoff time Rip and Billups will have played more than 640 minutes less than opposing teams go-to guys. 2 months into the season that might not mean much but it might mean a great deal after 82 games. I'll give Carlysle the benefit of the doubt because this guy has single handedly(okay Dumars had a lot to do with it too, but I'm talking on-court) turned our team around.

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Guest E.J. Smith

With Corliss and Chauncey both healthy the Pistons have a different dimension. Tonight's win was all about Chauncey shutting down Jason Kidd and Corliss - and don't forget what Zejlly and J.B. did - coming off the bench. Depth will be the thing that gets the Pistons there.

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The Pistons looked great tonight. They said some of the Nets were at the game last night and you know that they probably felt they had a point to prove since the Piston took them 3-1 last year. But it didn't go down like that.

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Guest E.J. Smith

I wonder what the result would have been had Dikembe played as it was obvious that the Nets had no answer for Zelly but that's not to take anything away from the Pistons' effort and the significance of the win.

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From all reports it could have been worse had Dikembe played. He is sluggish out there it seems and offensivley anyway Dikembe has been slowing the offense down and causing the nets not to score as much. Since he went down they have been averaging over 100 I believe. How this would have played out defensivley against Zelly I don't know because Mutombo can still play solid D. Who knows though, maybe the Nets wouldnt have gotten to 90 though with him in there.

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