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Pistons center out with bad back

Detroit center Mehmet Okur is expected to be out until after the All-Star break because of an injured back.

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Okur scored eight points in Saturday's loss at Dallas after missing two straight games with back spasms.
"He went to see the doctor and everything came back clear," Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars said Monday night. "He did not make the trip to New Jersey and we plan on sitting him until after the All-Star break."

Its only fitting...
 

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Nice work on the website, schub. It's dedicated folks like you that make the world go around.

I hadn't realized before reading your preview that the Pistons have lost 3 straight games. I'm not sure why they're struggling and I'd like to get a good look at them tonight. Maybe not playing with a real PG is catching up to them. The Pistons should be up for the match-up, with losing the last one at their home and with the Nets so close in the standings.

Toe injuries are touchy business - if Twin doesn't play, Okur's injury balances out.

It's a good game for Lawrence Frank. Up against a good coach at home with conference standing at stake. Against the 76ers, the Nets looked like they were falling off their motivational high from Scott's firing, so now Frank will be tested on whether he can motivate his players through the grind. The first loss of his head coaching career is pushing on the door, and it'll be interesting to see how long Frank will be able to hold off the inevitable.
 

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If we can win this, it'll be huge. I'd say detroit is the best team we've had to play in a while, and it'll be a test for Frank. Hopefully the streak will keep going.
 

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Finally a 'real' game!

Good match-ups, should be interesting:

1. Kidd vs Billups - Both are very physical although completely different type of offensive players.

2. Kittles vs Hamilton - Lean, long athletes who move well without the ball.

3. RJ vs Prince - All world talents. Explosiveness vs Smoothness.

4. KMart vs Big Ben - Enough said!

5. A-Train vs Campbell(?) - Good offensive talents. Not much else.

6. Rogers vs Williamson - Undersized, bulky forwards going head to head.

Will be a good game. :yes:
 

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Looking forward to seeing hamilton vs. kittles. Two of the most underrated players in the game.
 

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Originally posted by <b>MightyReds2020</b>!
Finally a 'real' game!

Good match-ups, should be interesting:

1. Kidd vs Billups - Both are very physical although completely different type of offensive players.

2. Kittles vs Hamilton - Lean, long athletes who move well without the ball.

3. RJ vs Prince - All world talents. Explosiveness vs Smoothness.

4. KMart vs Big Ben - Enough said!

5. A-Train vs Campbell(?) - Good offensive talents. Not much else.

6. Rogers vs Williamson - Undersized, bulky forwards going head to head.

Will be a good game. :yes:
By the way...

7. Armstrong and Milicic will compete for the best "Will I Get One Minute?"-look!
Good stuff.

I'm also looking forward to see how Planinic versus Atkins works out. I'm hoping Veal will get to play more minutes if Twin sits out, for his sake and because the Nets are on the front end of a back-to-back, although some more Rogers at the pivot is worth a look, too.
 

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Originally posted by <b>NYCbballFan</b>!

I hadn't realized before reading your preview that the Pistons have lost 3 straight games. I'm not sure why they're struggling and I'd like to get a good look at them tonight.
We had a nice 4 game streak going until Okur got hurt and then we promptly lost 3 in a row. Because he is such a talented jump shooter opposing centers have to guard him out to the 3-point line which gives Chauncey and Rip a lot of room to work in the paint, we are a definately a different team without him in. Simply put, we don't play well without him.
 

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There was a point in the first half I didn't think the Nets could come back. Then we went on a 14-0 run. :banana: It's a great win, but Okur is a big part of their team and he was out. The string of games after the all star break will be a good test.

Rodney Rogers is back to 6th man of the year form!
 

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what happened at halftime? I heard from the nj.com boards about the tnt crew dissing frank and calling the firing a mistake.
 

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Originally posted by <b>KrispyKreme23</b>!
Rodney Rogers is back to 6th man of the year form!
I'm so shocked his run is still going strong. I can see how Scott hindered Zoran, but was he doing something to Rogers?

-Petey
 

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Originally posted by <b>catcher</b>!
what happened at halftime? I heard from the nj.com boards about the tnt crew dissing frank and calling the firing a mistake.
It was a mistake to wait so long.

-Petey
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Originally posted by <b>Petey</b>!
I'm so shocked his run is still going strong. I can see how Scott hindered Zoran, but was he doing something to Rogers?
-Petey
I don't know much about Rodney's relationship with either coach, but maybe he's just more comfortable now that he's getting consistent minutes. Even though Byron favored him over Veal, Rodney still visited the dog house every once in a while, and neither his nor Veal's roles were as clearly defined as they are now. When you think about it, it makes sense to give Rodney more minutes (unless he's playing absolutely terrible), since Veal can probably deal better with inconsistent PT and still be able to contribute whenever called upon (think Luis Sojo for the Yanks a couple of years ago).

Detroit was definitely not at the top of their game tonight, but its still a great win. That 2nd quarter run was absolutely beautiful. It was Nets basketball at its best: play tenacious defense, force a bad shot or turnover, grab the ball, and then take off down the floor.

NetsDaily Game Wrap
 

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Great win. I honestly thought Detroit was going to take this one from us, but Frank was able to get our guys going. K-Mart scared the crap out of me after he got T'd up. I thought it was going to be one of those games where he loses it...thank God he didn't.
 

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This game goes to the team defense and the fact that when these two teams share the court, Jason Kidd is still the dominant player. The Pistons come to bang and they have the bodies and muscle to do it. The Nets did well to fight off the Pistons for the win.

The Pistons started the game out-Netting the Nets with a quick, physical defense and fastbreak points. For a few minutes, the Nets looked outmatched. Then Frank did his thing and by the 2nd quarter, the Nets were in control of the game. After going down 29-16, they outscored the Pistons 73-49 the rest of the game. The Nets unleashed a smooth zone defense that the Pistons couldn't penetrate at all. They mustered 2x7-footers against the Nets 6'9 corp, and combined, they scored 11 points. Mike luvs KG blames the Okur injury, which is definitely a factor, but the Pistons ball movement was poor, too. When Rip has Veal staring at him on the perimeter but backs the ball out instead of breaking his ankles, that's a confused offense.

The Pistons have individually good players, but they don't seem to mesh well. Do they want Rip moving off the ball, Billups on an iso, Big Ben posting up? They seem unsure of their offensive identity. I guess they can take turns doing what they want against a lesser defense, but not the Nets defense. Maybe Okur really does make that big of a difference.

Larry Brown went deep into his bench, which is a good thing, but I have to wonder if the constantly changing line-ups on the floor confused the team execution. Frank used a short play-off type rotation again. For a while, it seemed like the Nets bigs were going into serious foul trouble, but Frank coached his way through it.

Larry Brown was widely outcoached by Lawrence Frank.

RJ came up big. He started off slow and never did establish an outside shot, but he kept attacking. He needed to, with K-Mart battered by the parade of Pistons big men grinding on him. I wonder how K-Mart's tailbone is going to feel for the Cavs and Carlos Boozer. A-Train couldn't get his shot off, but he did man's work on the boards. Thompson described RJ as "efficient" during the telecast - the same applies to Rogers' game off the bench right now, although he didn't move his feet so well on defense. Kittles' stat line was brought up to respectability by a late surge of 3s. Lu shot 2-2, but otherwise didn't do much; of note, he briefly manned the point in the 4th Q while Kidd caught a short breather - not a good sign for the rookie.

Twin and his sprained left big toe sat out another game. Injured big toes ain't no joke - Twin may be out for a while. He and Veal play remarkably similar games, but Twin's 6'11, 260 pounds are missed. A-Train is carrying a heavier load than he should right now. The all-star break is arriving just in time.

Veal played a solid 8 minutes across the 3rd and 4th quarters, especially his work in the zone. He got no love from the referees, though. Rebraca hammered him twice. Veal was called for a foul after he was thrown down by Rebraca going after a rebound, and Rebraca smacked Veal on his corner drive - no foul called. The only bad part of his game was the travel on his spin move on Hamilton in the post - there was no need for Veal to dance with 6'5 180 lb Rip on his back.

Planinic is worrisome. He only played 3 minutes, which meant Kidd clocked in with another 40-plus minute game and a brief return of the Harris/Kittles backcourt. The Pistons are a quality team, a play-off team, and the rookie clearly isn't ready for this level of competition yet. Are the 32 remaining regular season games enough for him to get ready? How many more 40-plus minute nights will Kidd be forced to play while Planinic catches up?

The TNT crew's comments about Scott's firing and Frank's winning streak weren't that bad. John Thompson, who did color for the game, was effusive in his praise for Frank's coaching.

The Cavs game is full of 'trap' potential. After the 'high' of the Pistons game, the team focus can easily slip for the Cavs. The Cavs are easy to underestimate, but they're playing better with their new personnel. It's the last game before the all-star break. The Nets are travelling. Twin will likely sit out again. The team is coming off a tough, physical game and going right into a tough, physical game on a back-to-back.

Last thought. The Pistons game reinforces the idea the Nets will beat the Pistons in a play-off series because of defense, Frank and Kidd.
 

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Originally posted by <b>catcher</b>!
what happened at halftime? I heard from the nj.com boards about the tnt crew dissing frank and calling the firing a mistake.
The guys on tnt (especially barkley) hate the nets. I remember watching a pre game show against the magic when we were 22-20 or something like that and they said we were playing down to the level that we really were and we never deserved to go to the finals the last two years, and they said that we had a bad team.

:jump: they look like idiots now.
 

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Originally posted by <b>NYCbballFan</b>!
Last thought. The Pistons game reinforces the idea the Nets will beat the Pistons in a play-off series because of defense, Frank and Kidd.
Plus, maybe the Zone D although Larry Brown might figured it out come playoffs time.

The Zone D was a HUGE difference yesterday. I don't understand why the Pistons struggled so mightily because they have good personnel. They have a good one-on-one PG in Billups, good spot-up, move-well-without-ball SG in Rip Hamilton, plus couple of big guys who can score (Williamson & Campbell) but never was on the floor during that stretch. Billups basically was shut down by Kidd, totally, and without an inside prensence, Rip Hamilton became the only player who could and forced to create, which isn't his strength. I thought a coach at Brown's caliber should've done a better job?!

RJ was very aggresive and he thoroughly destroy their interior presence, if there was any. Ben Wallace had an good offensive night but defensively, he was rendered to basically a rebounder. He couldn't provide much weakside helps because RJ (and Kidd) was too quick.

A pretty dominant game by the Nets.
 

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I thought a coach at Brown's caliber should've done a better job?!
I had the same thought. The Pistons started off the game looking superior in every facet of the game. They were scoring inside, shooting outside and in transition. They were defending and the Nets were losing their cool. So, they had a good game-plan starting the game. Then, Frank made some adjustments and the Pistons offense shut down.

It's not like Frank implemented the zone at the end of the game. Brown had plenty of time to adjust to Frank's defense and he never did. The Pistons players looked like they had never seen a zone defense in their life.
 
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