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News » Detroit Pistons Getting Inside


Detroit Pistons Getting Inside


Detroit Pistons Getting Inside
Does Richard Hamilton relax after the All-Star break?

He says, "Nah, not at all."

But the issue was brought up after he played passive in the team's first two games following the break, both losses. Hamilton, who averages 14.4 shots per game, took a combined 14 in those two losses.

Hamilton has looked more like himself since then. He took 12, 15, 19 and 19 shots in the next four games, scoring 18 against the Suns, 20 against the Nuggets and 22 against the Jazz.

Hamilton said early on he simply deferred to teammates who "had it going" in the losses.

"Every year, it's a different situation," Hamilton said. "Last year we got (and were integrating) Chris Webber. One year we got (Rasheed Wallace). It's different every year. The one thing you want to do (after the break) is find out, as a team, what you have, what guys can play in certain situations. My job is to try and win a championship and do everything possible to try and win a championship."

Hamilton talked with coach Flip Saunders after the losses and was told there would be more of a concerted effort to call his number.

"It's like, OK, we lost two games now and Flip came up to me and said, 'Rip, we've got to do a better job of trying to get you going and calling plays for you that we've been calling early in the year,'" Hamilton said. "I said, 'No problem.' It's really nothing."

JAZZ 103, PISTONS 95: An early 18-point lead couldn't guarantee the Pistons a win in Energy Solutions Arena. The Jazz won their 15th straight at home, beating the Pistons 103-95.

Early on, the Pistons moved the ball well and played like the team that started the Western Conference trip with wins over Phoenix and Denver. But in the second half, they spiraled into playing one-on-one basketball. The Pistons had only five assists after halftime. They shot 51.2 percent in the first half and 32.4 percent in the second.

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out," said shooting guard Richard Hamilton, who scored 22. "First half we moved the ball, second half we didn't."

The Jazz climbed back in the third quarter as reserve forward Paul Millsap, who scored 19, played the role of game-changer.

The Pistons led by 12 before Millsap initiated a 10-0 run that put the Jazz within two near the end of the third quarter. He contributed a lay-up, a steal, a fast-break dunk and two free throws during the run.

"He killed us," Saunders said. "He took the ball at us, made some big plays, made some big free throws. We pretty much had the game in control and he came in and he changed the game."

Feeding off the momentum change, the Jazz took their first lead early in the fourth quarter. Still, the Pistons had their chances. The score was tied with 1:47 to play before Jazz point guard Deron Williams, who scored 14 points with 14 assists, broke it with two free throws.

Then Jazz center Mehmet Okur, a former Piston who scored 24, hit the third of his three late three-pointers, giving the Jazz a five-point lead with 50.8 seconds left. The Pistons couldn't respond. After Okur's three, they scored only one more field goal, a Chauncey Billups three.

"Defensively, we lost some of our rotations and left Mehmet open," Saunders said. "You can't do that against good teams. Good teams are going to make you pay, and that's what they did."


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 28, 2008

 

 
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