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Professional Game Coverage: New Jersey 111, Detroit 98

Detroit News

Pistons sluggish as Nets cruise,” by Chris McCosky

Antonio McDyess, who has logged some uncharacteristically heavy minutes during Wallace’s prolonged absence, appears to have hit a wall. His jumper has deserted him (he was 1 for 6) and he wasn’t his usual stout presence on defense.

“The last couple of games he hasn’t been shooting well, and maybe (fatigue) has a little to do with it,” Curry said.

“But he’d never make that excuse and I won’t make it for him.”

Curry unfazed by Iverson rant,” by Chris McCosky

When asked if he had to sit down and remind Iverson of his role, Curry said no.

“Only thing I would have to remind him of is if I wavered on what I told him,” Curry said. “He’s coming off the bench as the backup two (shooting guard). He might get more minutes some nights when we can play Rip (Hamilton) at the three (small forward). But for the most part he’s backing up Rip because we really like how Will Bynum has played backing up Rodney Stuckey.”

Detroit Free Press

Sluggish Pistons 3 games below .500 after another loss” by Vince Ellis

Still, the effort was troubling since the Pistons remain in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with seven games remaining. And they didn’t look like a team battling for their playoff lives on Wednesday.

‘Sheed sits, Curry not bothered by Iverson’s actions,” by Vince Ellis

Pistons center Rasheed Wallace missed Wednesday’s game because he picked up his 16th technical foul Tuesday night when he argued a call against Tayshaun Prince, who was guarding Cavs All-Star LeBron James.

Before the Nets game, Curry joked: “Yep. Doomsday for real this time.”

Curry was referring to earlier this season when it was thought that Wallace would have to sit a game, but the league had revoked two technicals, so he got a reprieve.

Iverson doesn’t want to be The Answer from the bench,” by Vince Ellis

Iverson may be a first-ballot Hall of Famer while Bynum is a basketball journeyman with stops in the NBA Development League and Israel; but frankly, in terms of blending in with the team, Bynum was a revelation while Iverson was out with a sore back for more than a month. He has earned his playing time.

Booth Newspapers

Pistons’ slide continues with loss at New Jersey,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

“I don’t even know where to start,” said Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, who finished with 16 points. “Defensively, we weren’t in the game. That’s pretty much what killed us.”

Kwame Brown may keep starting spot for Pistons,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

As far as Wallace coming off the bench, Curry said “We’ll see. I like Sheed coming off the bench (Tuesday at Cleveland). I think it helps that unit, especially when we’re small with Will (Bynum) and Allen (Iverson).

“When you have those two out there and you’re small in the backcourt, you need someone like Sheed, possibly Max (Jason Maxiell) with his activity out there, with him.”

The Star-Ledger

New Jersey Nets, playing for embattled coach Lawrence Frank’s job, beat Detroit Pistons, 111-98,” by Dave D’Alessandro

Rod Thorn said he couldn’t — wouldn’t — guarantee that Lawrence Frank would return for the final season on his contract next year, and that essentially means only one of two things:

The Nets president already has made up his mind to replace him, or the players had exactly eight games to save his job, starting with a 111-98 rout of Detroit Wednesday night. 

Most of them hoped it was the latter. 

“I look at it like this,” Vince Carter said. “If we can save his job by finishing out on a high note, then we have to help him and at the same time, it possibly helps us.” 

New Jersey Nets pound Detroit Pistons, 111-98, with new-look lineup,” by Dave D’Alessandro

Hassell, whose next complaint will be his first, went from starter to DNP-CD. Frank “said he wanted to start KD to get some energy out there,” the wing said before the game. “I just want to get the win. We really need this game.”

“And as we move forward there may be other lineup changes,” Frank said. “This isn’t an indictment on Trenton. Trenton’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. We want to look at a different number of combinations, so the lineup may be where it changes as we move ahead. 

“Trenton is one of the most professional, competitive guys we have. But at the same time, I want to look and see Vince at forward and look at some different guard combinations as we move ahead.”

Professional Game Coverage: Cleveland 79, Detroit 73

Detroit News

"Pistons’ Allen Iverson already tired of his new role," by Chris McCosky

"How many minutes did I play," Iverson said after he scored 11 with three turnovers in 18 minutes. "It seemed way, way, way less than that. Eighteen minutes? Come on, man. I can play 18 minutes with my eyes closed. It’s a bad feeling, man. I’m wondering what they rushed me to get back for? For that?

"It’s a bad time for me mentally."

The Pistons hardly rushed Iverson back. They let him sit out a month with back pain. And as far as his minutes, other than a six-point flurry in the fourth quarter, he hardly played well enough to displace any other player. He was on the floor during a key part of the Pistons’ collapse in the final five minutes.

"I am just trying to get through it without starting a whole bunch of nonsense," Iverson said, after initiating the conversation about his playing time. "I’m looking at the big picture. If I vent my frustration then it’s like, given who I am, I’ll be the one everybody points the finger at. I am just going to try to laugh to stop from crying."

"Commentary: Allen Iverson’s only concern is himself," by Chris McCosky

How many times is Iverson going to dribble into a crowd and either fall down or pass the ball wildly out of bounds? How many free throws is he going to miss? How many different ways can the Pistons junk up their defense to protect him?

For him to complain about his minutes afterward was truly a window into his character.

"Cavaliers net smiles, cringes," by Chris McCosky

Rasheed Wallace thinks it’s funny, too, though he thinks the Cavaliers might have infringed on the Pistons’ copyright with the picture-taking skit.

"We’ve been doing that stuff all along," Wallace said. "Rip (Hamilton) was the first to start doing all that picture stuff. That’s where they got it from, but of course they (the media) are going to blow it up more because it’s LeBron (James).

Detroit Free Press

"Pistons turn game over to NBA-leading Cavs," by Vince Ellis

James scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to help the Cavs win the season series from Detroit for the first time in 11 years, and become just the sixth team in NBA history to win 16 games in one month.

“Every game is not going to be pretty, but you find a way to win,” James said of the Cavs’ 38.6% shooting. “We found a way even with the bad shooting.”

"Piston Allen Iverson vents about lack of playing time," by Vince Ellis

When a reporter asked him how he was feeling in his second game back after missing 16 games with a sore back, he responded: "How many minutes did I play?"

Told 18 minutes, he said, "Damn."

When asked to clarify his feelings he said: "Nah, it felt way, way less than that.

"Eighteen minutes, c’mon, man. I can play 18 minutes with my eyes closed, with a 100-pound truck on my back. That’s a bad feeling.

Booth Newspapers

"Pistons stay close, but LeBron James lifts Cavs," by A. Sherrod Blakely

The Detroit Pistons were reminded Tuesday what happened the last time they played in Cleveland.

The words, "Do you remember?" were scribbled above the numbers "67-34" on the locker room eraser board by coaches.

That was the halftime deficit the Pistons faced the last time they were in Quicken Loans Arena.

Tuesday’s game was closer, but the Cavaliers still pulled away in the second half for a 79-73 victory.

"Pistons’ Allen Iverson unhappy about playing time," by A. Sherrod Blakely

Wallace picked up his 16th technical foul in the third quarter of Tuesday’s loss. Players are suspended one game after receiving their 16th technical. Each additional technical results in another one-game suspension.

Wallace was upset with a blocking foul called against Tayshaun Prince near the end of the third quarter on a LeBron James’ drive.

"Tayshaun was already there, and he (James) charged him," Wallace said. "Y’all know it’s stupid-star calls, too."

Wallace also was upset James was not whistled for any fouls despite playing a game-high 41 minutes.

"In a game like that, huh?" Wallace said. "Y’all know what it is. I ain’t even got to say that (bleep)."

As far as missing tonight’s game, Wallace said "that’s what happens when you speak the truth."

"Allen Iverson’s rant well-timed, but he needs to play better for it to be worthwhile," by A. Sherrod Blakely

Like most basketball fans, I love the passion that Iverson brings to the floor most nights.

But instead of worrying about more minutes, he needs to maximize the ones he’s getting now.

Instead of wondering why there was such a rush to get him back, play well enough to justify the wait.

And instead of venting your frustrations to the media (which, by the way, he said he didn’t want to do moments before actually doing it), take out those frustrations on opponents.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Detroit Pistons’ time has come and gone; it’s the Cavaliers’ time now," by Bill Livingston

The Detroit Pistons’ signature player is Allen Iverson. He is their new acquisition this year and he has not worked out, other than for salary-dump purposes. He is also an old symbol of athletic contradiction. Iverson did great honor to the game between the lines and great harm to his legacy outside them. He never valued his gift enough.

One more time: "Practice! We talkin’ about practice!" Iverson’s quote about the expendability of practice and the dispensability of showing leadership off the floor will follow him a long time.

It is fitting that he is with the Pistons now because they did not do honor to the game between the lines and so did harm to their legacy outside them. They seldom valued their opponents.

The Pistons won the NBA championship five years ago when the Los Angeles Lakers beat themselves because of the jealousy between superstars Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Detroit seemed then to represent all the truths that the modern NBA of marketing sizzle and individual star power had ignored. They were a team. They were five fingers which, working in unison as a fist, can deliver a blow that cannot be withstood.

But the Pistons seldom could summon such effort again. Maybe they did against Miami, the 2006 champions, because Dwyane Wade and Shaq were the new Dynamic Duo.

"LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers hold off Detroit Pistons in NBA showdown," by Jodie Valade

It was the kind of playoff-type game that included fourth-quarter heroics by LeBron James (who else?), relentless defense from guard Delonte West on wily Pistons guard Rip Hamilton, and two technical fouls — including one against Detroit forward Rasheed Wallace (who else?) in his first game back from an 11-game absence because of a strained left calf.

"That was a good, ugly, physical, grind-it-out type game," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "We used to have a lot of those in the past, and it’s fun to get back to that."

"Case of the missing historic basketball solved," by Jodie Valade

A recent article in ESPN The Magazine described how Wallace’s representatives petitioned Fathead, the company that creates life-size graphics of players, to be one of the players it featured. At the time, in 2008, Fathead only distributed pictures of then-point guard Chauncey Billups and guard Rip Hamilton.

Patrick McInnis, CEO of Fathead, said the company is going to create images of multiple players on teams — Wallace included.

"He is totally Fathead-worthy," said McInnis, who was president of Quicken Loans until about six weeks ago. "I want him to know that."

Professional Game Coverage: Detroit 101, Philadelphia 97

Detroit News

Pistons win in Allen Iverson’s return,” by Chris McCosky

Just (Iverson’s) presence alone helped. Hamilton was able to rest for nine minutes in the fourth quarter. He came back strong and sealed the victory with two clutch jumpers in the final 2:29.

“They wanted to leave me out there, but I told them to take me out (at the end of the third) so I could rest,” said Hamilton, who finished with 14 points. “I don’t want to overkill myself to the point where I start playing on one leg again. Allen gave me a chance to rest and I came back rested and made my shots.”

A.I. adapts to coming off the bench,” by Chris McCosky

He doesn’t love it — that much is clear. But if what he said Sunday is truly how he feels, then Allen Iverson is going to do everything in his power to make this coming-off-the-bench thing work.

“You know, a person with my resume and all the things I’ve done in this league, to be coming off the bench, I just thought that would be tough for me mentally,” he said, after returning to the Pistons for the first time since Feb. 25 and scoring eight points in the Pistons 101-97 victory over the 76ers. “I know I can get through the whole thing physically, but mentally it was tough for me.

“But I just thought about the big picture and that’s helping my teammates get wins. The more I thought about that, the more I relished the challenge of coming off the bench.”

Detroit Free Press

Allen Iverson returns after 16 games out, Pistons beat his old team,” by George Sipple

“Bodies were live, guys were much better and it was a good game for us to get,” Curry said. “It was a tough team for us to play, especially on a back-to-back. They’re young and athletic. They’re not just athletic but they’re fast. The difference is you can play athletic guys but Andre (Iguodala) and Thaddeus Young really get out and run. They are as fast as any wings in the league. Any time we turned the ball over, they are out and running and making it difficult to get back. Wedid a much better job the second half taking care of the basketball and that’s what gave us the chance to win.”

After making nine turnovers in the first half, the Pistons had two the rest of the game.

Allen Iverson ‘frustrated’ about those questioning time off for injury,” by George Sipple

Iverson said he was frustrated by people questioning why he had been out so long.

“You get all the praise in the world for being a warrior … and then when I get an injury that I’ve never had before and an injury that actually bothered me the way it did, people started to question me,” he said. “That was the toughest thing. I had this warrior image my whole career, and then I get one injury where I can’t go — I think it’s more or less people can’t believe it — so they expect me to play the Superman role every time.”

Booth Newspapers

Allen Iverson returns, Pistons knock off Sixers,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

But it was clear Iverson’s teammates were pleased to have the 10-time all-star back.

“It’s definitely fun,” said Will Bynum, when asked about playing with Iverson. “It’s like teams have to pick their poison; it opens things up out there. We can get out and run and have some fun and bring some excitement in here. I love playing with him.”

Pistons’ Kwame Brown delivers in post vs. Sixers,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

Brown had 13 points and 11 rebounds, giving him his second double-double as a Piston.

“Kwame was huge,” Pistons coach Michael Curry said.

Because Philadelphia starts a relatively small frontcourt, Curry wanted to establish a post presence early.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Pistons’ high-flying finish puts away 76ers,” by Kate Fagan

Outside the Palace of Auburn Hills, with snow coating cars, it looked like midwinter. But inside, the 76ers and the Detroit Pistons, battling for postseason position, looked much closer to spring.

Which they are.

Last night, either the Pistons were the more desperate team or they received a boost from Allen Iverson’s return. Maybe it was a little bit of both: They ended a 101-97 win over the Sixers with an 18-8 run.

DiLeo hopes streakiness will level off,” by Kate Fagan

Sixers center Samuel Dalembert strained his right calf in the first quarter last night and did not return.

A Motor City Loss,” by Kate Fagan

After the game, Iverson said: ”I’m just as happy as I can be to come back and be around the guys and get in front of the fans and contribute and get a win. And now my whole thing is trying to be the best 6th man I can be, the best 6th man in the league.”

Philadelphia Daily News

Silent whistles haunt Sixers in loss to Pistons,” by Bernard Fernandez

The schedule is not nearly so cheery now. At 37-35, the Sixers not only have fallen to the sixth seed, but the Pistons (36-37), currently at No. 7, have closed within 1 1/2 games of them. Next up is tomorrow night’s home game against the smokin’-hot Atlanta Hawks, with another meeting against the Pistons set for April 4 at the Wachovia Center. Two games against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have the best record in the league, also are on a stretch run that has melted down to just 10 more regular-season contests.

Professional Game Coverage: Detroit 98, Washington 96

Detroit News

Hamilton returns to score 31 as Pistons hold off Wizards,” by Chris McCosky

Pistons’ Allen Iverson not close to game shape,” by Chris McCosky

Detroit Free Press

Rip returns in win,” by Vince Ellis

Iverson eager to get on court, but won’t push it,” by Vince Ellis

Booth Newspapers

Richard Hamilton returns against Wizards, helps Pistons snap three-game losing streak,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

Pistons’ Allen Iverson wants to avoid medication,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

Michael Curry: ‘Tuesday at the latest’ for return of Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

The Washington Post

Wizards Fall Just Short of Victory in Arenas’s Return,” by Michael Lee

Arenas Quickly Shakes Off the Rust,” by Thomas Boswell

Pistons, 98, Wizards, 96,” by Michael Lee

The Washington Times

A spoiled storybook ending for Arenas,” by Mike Jones

Arenas, Wizards come up short,” by Mike Jones

Professional Game Coverage: Los Angeles Lakers 92, Detroit 77

Detroit News

Bynum sparkles during dark days,” by Chris McCosky

Injured Pistons are getting healthy at last,” by Chris McCosky

Detroit Free Press

Pistons slide to eighth in East,” by Vince Ellis

Will Rip return soon? Yes, sir!,” by Vince Ellis

Grand Rapids Press

Pistons fall to Lakers as Kobe Bryant scores 30,” by Greg Johnson

Injured Pistons could be returning this weekend,” by Greg Johnson

Los Angeles Times

Lakers end seven-year drought in Detroit,” by Mike Bresnahan

Andrew Bynum not close to return,” by Mike Bresnahan

Los Angeles Daily News

Lakers get quick tune-up in the Motor City,” by Elliot Teaford

Bynum’s role upon return depends on what Lakers need,” by Elliot Teaford

Lakers’ Jackson wanting to hit 60 on road,” by Elliot Teaford

Professional Game Coverage: Chicago 99, Detroit 91

Detroit News

Pistons’ subs run out of gas,” by Chris McCosky

Detroit Free Press

Pistons’ playoff hopes could be in danger after another loss,” by Vince Ellis

Injury plague goes on,” by Vince Ellis

Booth Newspapers

Pistons’ slide continues with loss at Chicago,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

Tayshaun Prince, Antonio McDyess logging big minutes for injury-depleted Pistons,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Bulls top Detroit Pistons 99-91,” by K.C. Johnson

Derrick Rose misses first Chicago Bulls game with bruised right wrist,” by K.C. Johnson

Chicago Sun-Times

Kirk steps in and steps up,” by Brian Hanley

Bulls notes,” by Brian Hanley

Daily Herald

Hinrich, Thomas lead Bulls over Pistons,” by Mike McGraw

Professional Game Coverage: Miami 101, Detroit 96

Detroit News

Loss leaves Pistons fuming,” by Chris McCosky

Iverson nears return to Pistons,” by Chris McCosky

Detroit Free Press

Curry gets tossed as Pistons fall,” by Vince Ellis

Wade’s defense notable,” by Vince Ellis

Booth Newspapers

Shorthanded Pistons lose it late to Dwyane Wade’s Heat, 101-96,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

Iverson says coming off bench for Pistons not linked to missing games with back injury,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

The Miami Herald

Dwyane Wade’s last-second shot block lifts Miami Heat over Detroit Pistons,” by Michael Wallace

Miami Heat coach wants players to be more vocal,” by Michael Wallace

Heat 101, Pistons 96 (Beyond the Box Score),” by Michael Wallace

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Dwyane Wade’s 39 points, team’s toughness down stretch key in Miami Heat’s win at Detroit,” by Michael Cunningham

Ailing Dwyane Wade to avoid workouts the rest of the way,” by Michael Cunningham

Heat 101, Pistons 96,” by Ira Winderman

Professional Game Coverage: Detroit 108, Los Angeles Clippers 90

Detroit News

Shorthanded Pistons beat Clippers,” by Chris McCosky

Tests are ‘good’ on Iverson’s bad back,” by Chris McCosky

Detroit Free Press

With 4 starters out, Pistons stitch together a win,” by Vince Ellis

Iverson nears return,” by Vince Ellis

Booth Newspapers

Short-handed Pistons top Clippers 108-90,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

Iverson undergoes more tests on back, may return to Pistons’ lineup soon,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

Professional Game Coverage: Houston 106, Detroit 101

Detroit News

Weary Pistons run out of gas,” by Chris McCosky

Iverson return not any closer,” by Chris McCosky

Detroit Free Press

Pistons lose in 2 OT,” by Vince Ellis

Allen Iverson still in pain, return unknown,” by Vince Ellis

Booth Newspapers

Pistons have no answer for Yao, fall to Rockets in 2OT,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

Pistons still looking for consistent effort as playoffs near,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

Houston Chronicle

Commentary: Rockets coming of age, and it shows, 103-101,” by Jerome Solomon

Double the drama,” by Jonathon Feigen

Professional Game Coverage: Dallas 103, Detroit 101

Detroit News

Mavericks top short-handed Pistons,” by Chris McCosky

Pistons’ McDyess increases in value,” by Chris McCosky

Detroit Free Press

Lingering injury keeps Richard Hamilton out of game,” by Vince Ellis

Booth Newspapers

Injury-depleted Pistons fall short against Dallas,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

Pistons’ Richard Hamilton sits against Mavericks,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

The Dallas Morning News

Dallas Mavericks sputter past short-handed Pistons, 103-101,” by Eddie Sefko