Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Well, the Pistons have a win and a loss to show for their last two outings. Detroit defeated Seattle 97-85 last Friday and lost to Utah 94-90 in overtime on the following night. These two games were played on the Serbian Orthodox Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so coach Flip Saunders did what he thought was the right thing and gave young Darko Milicic both nights off. Realistically through, if Saunders were pure of heart, he would have realized that a much better Christmas gift would have been to actually give Darko a couple of starts.

Darko has now sat out for five straight games, and for eight of the last ten. In the two games he did play out of the last ten, he was only on the court for 2 minutes and 43 seconds in total. He has only played 112 minutes through the Pistons' first 31 games. At this pace, he will only play 296 minutes for the entire season, only marginally higher than the 254 minutes he received last season under Larry Brown! Ridiculous!

Are the benchings merited? Let's have a look at how Detroit has performed with and without the D-train to this point. In games in which Darko has not played, the Pistsons are a very respectable 10-3. However, in games in which Darko has received time on the floor, the team is an awesome 16-2!! If we were to ignore the 17 seconds that Darko played in a loss to Utah, those figures would be 10-4 (0.714) without Darko and 16-1 (0.941) with Darko! These statistics can likely be interpreted in any number of ways, but what is irrefutable is that the Pistons have a much, much, much better record in games in which DM has played than in games in which he has been benched!

So what is it that Darko brings to the table that makes the Pistons perform so much better? What Darko does goes well beyond the stat sheet. It even goes beyond the way that he skillfully clogs the lane and forces opposing teams' offenses to rely almost exclusively on their outside games. What Darko has is a certain intangible quality, a certain je ne sais quois, if you will, that is only possessed by the greatest of players. Darko's mere presence on the floor almost magically elevates the games of his teammates and makes the team almost unbeatable.

We have speculated in this space more than once on what the reasons may be beyond Darko's mysterious benchings and why they have been allowed to continue, to the detriment of the entire team and even to the city of Detroit, which loves Milicic. However, no concrete answers have yet been given and the entire situation remains enshrouded in mystery for whatever reason. We can only continue to hope that Joe Dumars the Good has something up his sleeve. Joe D, please don't let us down!


Blogger Tony said...

Great site! I am also a Darko fan and would love to see a practice or something to see how he's doing. Why don't they at least put him in the development league for a few weeks so he can actually play basketball for a change.

10:31 AM  
Blogger DarkoWatcher said...

Welcome to DarkoRules, tony!

While the idea of someone with Darko's immense basketball skills going down to the development league is pretty detestable, it might be a better alternative than sitting on his butt game after game. However, he would not be able to practice against NBA-level competition in such a situation.

We here at DarkoRules frankly do not know anything about the development league, nor if Darko would even be eligible to play there, but it's an idea.

2:38 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home