One man's honest opinion about sports in the Motor City, and beyond.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

It tolls for Ben Wallace

An investigation is underway to determine if Ben Wallace has constructed a time machine in his basement. The evidence - tenacious defense and mad rebounding, circa 2004 - was too much to ignore. The Pistons defeated the Orlando Magic 85-80 on Tuesday night, and Ben Wallace, who apparently has decided to ignore the fact that he's 67 years old, played another solid game. The Pistons are now 2-2 on the season.

Wallace had 10 rebounds (6 offensive), 2 blocks and 2 steals in just over 28 minutes of game time. Late in the 4th quarter, Pistons up by four, Wallace grabbed an important rebound and let out a passionate roar to let the Palace crowd know he was back. This was vintage Big Ben - the only thing missing was 'The Fro'.

Head coach John Kuester has done a good job of limiting Wallace's minutes, but there is a lot of basketball to play - so I know it is a little early to call it a comeback. Wallace has battled some injuries in the last few years, and there is no telling how his body will hold up over the course of an 82-game season. But, his mini-resurgence, nonetheless, has been good for my soul.

Guards Getting It Done

"We just couldn't stop their three guards," said Stan Van Gundy, head coach of the Orlando Magic (

The combination of Gordon, Stuckey and Bynum (Rip was sidelined with an ankle sprain) dropped 63 points on Orlando. Gordon was especially effective on the offensive end needing a mere 10 shots to score 23 points, and hit all 11 of his free throw attempts in the process. Stuckey played a solid first half, but cooled off in the second. For the entire game he converted only 7 of 20 shots, finishing with 20 points. Not impressive, although he was getting to the line and grabbed nine rebounds (over the hobbit-sized Orlando guards). He needs to improve his shooting percentage, get more assists and turn the ball over less if he wants to be a true asset to this team.

Clark Kent

Dwight Howard - who was reported to be floating in a giant tin foil balloon somewhere outside of Auburn Hills - turned out to be on the bench most of the game. He played just under 17 minutes due to early foul trouble - eventually fouling out - and was also nursing a sore shoulder.

Final Thoughts

Overall, a good win by the Pistons. However, they still seem to lack an offensive flow. Their assist total was low again (eight on the night). They don't seem to be swinging the ball around enough. Their guards mostly look to shoot or penetrate (then shoot) - which worked against Orlando, but is not necessarily the best way to play the rest of the year.

Charlie Villanueva was effective and will hopefully build on that performance. Jonas Jerebko cracked the starting lineup in place of Tayshaun Prince (lower back). He went 0-5 from the field, with no points, but actually didn't look too bad in other aspects - a positive sign for the rookie.

Kelser's Call of the Game

Sometime in the 2nd quarter, FSN Detroit's Greg Kelser, referring to Stuckey and a guard for Orlando, said they were "trying to out penetrate each other". Gross.

~ Matt Penridge


Post a Comment

<< Home