Friday, December 30, 2005

It has been three games since DarkoRules has last been updated. Here is what has happened in that time:

Christmas Day: Detroit 85, San Antonio 70. Darko: 78 seconds on the floor

December 27: Detroit 113, Toronto 106. This game was far more lopsided than the final score would have you believe, but Darko was still only allowed to play for the final 85 seconds. He made the most of that time, throwing down a dunk and blocking yet another shot.

December 29: Detroit 106, Miami 101. Darko rode the pines for all 48 minutes.

The Pistons may be 24-3 and have a nine game winning streak on the go, but they are completely hindering Mr. Milicic's progress as a baller. Only one course of action is acceptable at this point: New Year, New Coach. Fire Flip!!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Last night's victims were the Golden State Warriors, who were handily beaten by the Pistons by a score of 97-85. Detroit now sits at 21-3, but what is far more important is the fact that Darko sat for the entire game YET AGAIN.

Darko is now firmly in Flip's doghouse and Flip is now firmly in DarkoRules' doghouse. Darko is simply not getting a fair shake. Consider that in his third NBA season, Darko has played for a grand total of 522 minutes, while Andrew Bogut, who has been in the league for less than a third of a season and has not exactly set the world on fire just yet, has already been on the floor for 654 minutes. Bogut has made 24 blocks in his 654 minutes, while Darko has a career total of 46 stuffs -- nearly twice as many blocks as Bogut in far fewer minutes.

Bogut has also had the advantage of getting into the flow of games and developing a rhythm, while Darko's playing time has been much more start-stop, a couple of minutes here and a couple of minutes there. Milicic has rarely even been given a chance to be on the floor for long enough to even get fully warmed up.

All we are saying is give Darko a chance!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

On Monday, it took a couple of overtimes for Detroit to beat Memphis by a count of 106-104. Last night, the Pistons put up 93 points against the 89 point effort by the Blazers.

In two games plus two overtimes, Darko Milicic scored no points, grabbed no rebounds, made no assists, blocked no shots, and stole no passes. How is it that the D-train did not manage to accumulate any numbers whatsoever? The answer is an easy one: The D-train did not leave the station in either game. Flip has Darko riding the pines in a big way.

Let's not mince words here. Flip is not doing his job. He was brought in here to help Darko develop into the NBA superstar that we all know he will eventually become. Unfortunately, Flip has taken matters into his own hands and has decided to retard Milicic's development. He has done a horrible job of coaching Darko, which leads me to suspect that he may well be in cahoots with the nefarious Larry Brown. LB may be in New York, but he still has minions here doing his dirty work for him.

Regardless of Mr. Saunders' source of motivation, Darko Nation cannot just sit idly by and watch DM atrophy any further... the only possible way out of this debacle is to simply get rid of the source of consternation.... Flip must leave the team, and soon.

Flip, you have done a horrible job of coaching Darko and the Pistons to this point. Please do the honorable thing and put forth your resignation while you still have a chance to save some face.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

On Friday night in Auburn Hills, the Pistons had an easy time against the Bulls, winning 110-82. Darko got himself a couple of offensive boards and a bucket in his 9 minutes.

On Saturday night in Charlotte, the Pistons won handily again, this time by a score of 103-78 against the Bobcats. In five minutes, Darko managed a block, an assist, and a dunk. He also got into a bit of a late-game scuffle with Othella Harrington and drew a technical foul. Harrington was upset that he also picked up a technical and was ejected for arguing the call.

OK, 14 minutes total in a couple of games is nothing to write home about, but it sure beats 67 seconds in the previous three game stretch. While there may have been a bit of rust to shake off, Mr. Milicic proved that he can do a bit of everything when called on... blocks, buckets, boards and passes, and he is not afraid to mix it up with opposing players when need be. This guy is the complete package.

The problem with Milicic and playing time is the fact that the rest of the team is doing OK without him at the moment, so Coach Flip is choosing to rest Darko up for when he will really be needed to come in and turn a game around. There are some parallels between this story and the NBA story in Indianopolis, where coach Tony Dungy has to choose between playing his best players heading into the playoffs or resting them for the playoffs when a lot more will be at stake.

While I completely respect Flippy's decision to keep Darko rested, I urge him to play the Serbian gangster as much as possible, if for no other reason than to keep the fans entertained. The team is doing OK right now (18-3), but there is no reason for the coach to deprive the fans of seeing the absolute best basketball the team can play. Additionally, sitting on the bench can be detrimental in that Darko may accumulate too much rust to perform up to his ability when brought in for important minutes.

Flip, get Darko off that bench. You may think that a win is a win, but I'd rather beat the Bulls by 38 points than by 28, and the Bobcats by 35 rather than 25. Come on, man. Put your best team on floor --- for the fans. They pay big bucks to keep this team humming along, so give them full value for their dollar!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Well, in the battle of the Serbian superpowers, Darko's Pistons beat Peja Stojakovic's Kings by a score of 109-98. Coach Flip decided to rest Darko for most of the game, and while things were in hand by the time Darko came in, he still went out there and put on a show!

Mr. Milicic played for two minutes and managed to get two blocks in those two minutes! Impressive work from a guy who didn't even really get a chance to warm up. If Darko were to keep up that pace over a full 48 minute game, he would finish the game with about 2000 blocks!

Come on, Flippy... let Darko play a full game so that he can throw a big old block party! (The Bulls are coming to town on Friday ---no time like the present!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sunday, December 11, 2005: Detroit Pistons 109, Los Angeles Clippers 101. Darko Milicic playing time: 50 seconds.

Monday, December 12, 2005: Utah Jazz 92, Detroit Pistons 78. Darko Milicic playing time: 17 seconds.

67 seconds in two games. Counting Friday night's complete benching, it adds up to 67 seconds in three games. Ugh, I'm insulted for Darko. I don't know if it's against Blogger rules to swear on here, but I am very tempted to do it soon.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Well, the Pistons were in Oakland last night and beat the Golden State Warriors by a score of 106-103. Darko Milicic once again got skunked on the stats sheet; he did not get off the bench.

Flip is clearly not giving Darko a chance to prove his talent. Since it seems evident at this point that Darko will continue to receive significant bench time into the indefinite future, perhaps he should occupy his time there more productively by picking up a new hobby or other activity. He could knit himself sweaters to keep himself warm on the cold Detroit bench... or perhaps he could write letters home to his mother in Serbia... or invent a new splinter removal tool, based on the post-game experience he has gained in that field... or he might be able to get himself an XBOX 360 and play as himself on NBA 2K6 or NBA Live 06... or, better still, maybe get himself a laptop, start his own blog and post to it during games. The possibilities are endless.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

In my last post, I requested that Darko start against Larry Brown and the Knicks on Friday night. Did that come to pass? Noooooooooooooo. Darko played a grand total of five minutes. According to the Detroit News, "He had a dreadful five-minute stretch Friday, managing two turnovers, two missed free throws and two goaltending violations, one offensive and one defensive, when he reached through the bottom of the rim to block a shot.
Milicic also put up little resistance in the lane, as the Knicks got three layups and outscored the Pistons by five while he played." The upside is that Detroit beat New York by a score of 106-98.

Well, of course he didn't have an amazing performance right off the bat. He was anxious to show Larry Brown up and his nerves got the best of him. Just as he was getting ready to shrug off his jitters, he was sent back to the bench. If Darko had been given the start, or at least more than a few minutes minutes on the floor, he would very likely have flourished in my opinion. You can't get anywhere playing in dribs and drabs. Darko needs to have a few consecutive games with 15+ minutes of playing time!!

So how did Coach Flip handle things last night? The picture at left shows a reasonable facsimile of Darko's performance against New Jersey in the 92-79 win. In reality, Darko probably never even took his warm-up sweats off and certainly had no need for a towel. That's right! Darko was benched for the entire game! What's worse, Dale Davis may receive additional minutes because Saunders has not been satisfied with Darko's recent play. Holy cannoli, Batman! This is a revolting development. Instead of giving Darko more playing time to boost his confidence and comfort level, Flippy is decreasing even the scraps that he doles out now.

Is it possible that Flip Saunders is in cahoots with Larry Brown? Is this guy here to continue Brownie's dirty work? There is not yet enough evidence to reach a conclusive decision either way, but if things carry on like this, you can bet that a call to Joe Dumars will be in order!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Detroit beat the Nets by a score of 93-83 last night. Darko played for five minutes, but did not have a spectacular game. Why not? I imagine that it was probably because Darko was saving himself for tomorrow night's game at the Palace against Larry Brown and the New York Knicks. I wouldn't want to be in Larry's shoes 24 hours from now.

Flippy, for the love of goodness, if you are ever going to give Darko a chance to play meaningful minutes, make it tomorrow night! Give him the start! Darko Nation is begging you!