AI Seeing A Decrease In 4th Quarter Minutes?
Total Pro Sports – The Detroit Pistons played 2 games this weekend, getting blown out by the Dallas Mavericks and losing a close one to the Houston Rockets last night. In those games, Allen Iverson saw no minutes against Dallas and only 1 minute versus Houston.
This befuddles me, because Iverson was someone that the Philadelphia 76ers used to solely rely on in the 4th quarter if a comeback was needed, and someone the Denver Nuggets used to contribute in the final minutes along with Carmelo Anthony.
Now, after seeing 9 minutes in a big win this past Wednesday over Toronto, he is getting no minutes. Yes, now Rip Hamilton is coming off the bench and deserves the minutes because he is a proven player in Detroit, but Iverson was, is, and always will be an All-Star (he is the starting point guard for the Eastern Conference in the upcoming All-Star game).
I know he isn’t the best point guard and is more of a small shooting guard, but don’t bench him because he doesn’t fit into the rotation. If you have a guy of that caliber sitting on the bench, then you have a problem. Play him at point guard anyway, since the fourth quarter is more about creating for oneself. Play him at shooting guard, and put Hamilton at small forward. Yes, now you run into a problem with the defense of Tayshaun Prince needed on the floor, but move him up. A small lineup really isn’t that much of a problem in crunch time. Play Stuckey, Iverson, Hamilton, Prince, and Rasheed if you really want your best five on the floor. Iverson is a star, and will be for the rest of his career, and any of the other 29 teams in the NBA would love to have a guy like him on the floor leading a comeback.
Hopefully the Pistons realize this, and play Iverson in the final 12 minutes. It doesn’t even need to be the whole quarter, but a guy like AI has experience being clutch, and putting him in for a little spark would definitely do the trick, and maybe would have helped the Pistons pick up a big win last night versus the Rockets.