Professional Game Coverage: Cleveland 79, Detroit 73

Detroit News

"Pistons’ Allen Iverson already tired of his new role," by Chris McCosky

"How many minutes did I play," Iverson said after he scored 11 with three turnovers in 18 minutes. "It seemed way, way, way less than that. Eighteen minutes? Come on, man. I can play 18 minutes with my eyes closed. It’s a bad feeling, man. I’m wondering what they rushed me to get back for? For that?

"It’s a bad time for me mentally."

The Pistons hardly rushed Iverson back. They let him sit out a month with back pain. And as far as his minutes, other than a six-point flurry in the fourth quarter, he hardly played well enough to displace any other player. He was on the floor during a key part of the Pistons’ collapse in the final five minutes.

"I am just trying to get through it without starting a whole bunch of nonsense," Iverson said, after initiating the conversation about his playing time. "I’m looking at the big picture. If I vent my frustration then it’s like, given who I am, I’ll be the one everybody points the finger at. I am just going to try to laugh to stop from crying."

"Commentary: Allen Iverson’s only concern is himself," by Chris McCosky

How many times is Iverson going to dribble into a crowd and either fall down or pass the ball wildly out of bounds? How many free throws is he going to miss? How many different ways can the Pistons junk up their defense to protect him?

For him to complain about his minutes afterward was truly a window into his character.

"Cavaliers net smiles, cringes," by Chris McCosky

Rasheed Wallace thinks it’s funny, too, though he thinks the Cavaliers might have infringed on the Pistons’ copyright with the picture-taking skit.

"We’ve been doing that stuff all along," Wallace said. "Rip (Hamilton) was the first to start doing all that picture stuff. That’s where they got it from, but of course they (the media) are going to blow it up more because it’s LeBron (James).

Detroit Free Press

"Pistons turn game over to NBA-leading Cavs," by Vince Ellis

James scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to help the Cavs win the season series from Detroit for the first time in 11 years, and become just the sixth team in NBA history to win 16 games in one month.

“Every game is not going to be pretty, but you find a way to win,” James said of the Cavs’ 38.6% shooting. “We found a way even with the bad shooting.”

"Piston Allen Iverson vents about lack of playing time," by Vince Ellis

When a reporter asked him how he was feeling in his second game back after missing 16 games with a sore back, he responded: "How many minutes did I play?"

Told 18 minutes, he said, "Damn."

When asked to clarify his feelings he said: "Nah, it felt way, way less than that.

"Eighteen minutes, c’mon, man. I can play 18 minutes with my eyes closed, with a 100-pound truck on my back. That’s a bad feeling.

Booth Newspapers

"Pistons stay close, but LeBron James lifts Cavs," by A. Sherrod Blakely

The Detroit Pistons were reminded Tuesday what happened the last time they played in Cleveland.

The words, "Do you remember?" were scribbled above the numbers "67-34" on the locker room eraser board by coaches.

That was the halftime deficit the Pistons faced the last time they were in Quicken Loans Arena.

Tuesday’s game was closer, but the Cavaliers still pulled away in the second half for a 79-73 victory.

"Pistons’ Allen Iverson unhappy about playing time," by A. Sherrod Blakely

Wallace picked up his 16th technical foul in the third quarter of Tuesday’s loss. Players are suspended one game after receiving their 16th technical. Each additional technical results in another one-game suspension.

Wallace was upset with a blocking foul called against Tayshaun Prince near the end of the third quarter on a LeBron James’ drive.

"Tayshaun was already there, and he (James) charged him," Wallace said. "Y’all know it’s stupid-star calls, too."

Wallace also was upset James was not whistled for any fouls despite playing a game-high 41 minutes.

"In a game like that, huh?" Wallace said. "Y’all know what it is. I ain’t even got to say that (bleep)."

As far as missing tonight’s game, Wallace said "that’s what happens when you speak the truth."

"Allen Iverson’s rant well-timed, but he needs to play better for it to be worthwhile," by A. Sherrod Blakely

Like most basketball fans, I love the passion that Iverson brings to the floor most nights.

But instead of worrying about more minutes, he needs to maximize the ones he’s getting now.

Instead of wondering why there was such a rush to get him back, play well enough to justify the wait.

And instead of venting your frustrations to the media (which, by the way, he said he didn’t want to do moments before actually doing it), take out those frustrations on opponents.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Detroit Pistons’ time has come and gone; it’s the Cavaliers’ time now," by Bill Livingston

The Detroit Pistons’ signature player is Allen Iverson. He is their new acquisition this year and he has not worked out, other than for salary-dump purposes. He is also an old symbol of athletic contradiction. Iverson did great honor to the game between the lines and great harm to his legacy outside them. He never valued his gift enough.

One more time: "Practice! We talkin’ about practice!" Iverson’s quote about the expendability of practice and the dispensability of showing leadership off the floor will follow him a long time.

It is fitting that he is with the Pistons now because they did not do honor to the game between the lines and so did harm to their legacy outside them. They seldom valued their opponents.

The Pistons won the NBA championship five years ago when the Los Angeles Lakers beat themselves because of the jealousy between superstars Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Detroit seemed then to represent all the truths that the modern NBA of marketing sizzle and individual star power had ignored. They were a team. They were five fingers which, working in unison as a fist, can deliver a blow that cannot be withstood.

But the Pistons seldom could summon such effort again. Maybe they did against Miami, the 2006 champions, because Dwyane Wade and Shaq were the new Dynamic Duo.

"LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers hold off Detroit Pistons in NBA showdown," by Jodie Valade

It was the kind of playoff-type game that included fourth-quarter heroics by LeBron James (who else?), relentless defense from guard Delonte West on wily Pistons guard Rip Hamilton, and two technical fouls — including one against Detroit forward Rasheed Wallace (who else?) in his first game back from an 11-game absence because of a strained left calf.

"That was a good, ugly, physical, grind-it-out type game," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "We used to have a lot of those in the past, and it’s fun to get back to that."

"Case of the missing historic basketball solved," by Jodie Valade

A recent article in ESPN The Magazine described how Wallace’s representatives petitioned Fathead, the company that creates life-size graphics of players, to be one of the players it featured. At the time, in 2008, Fathead only distributed pictures of then-point guard Chauncey Billups and guard Rip Hamilton.

Patrick McInnis, CEO of Fathead, said the company is going to create images of multiple players on teams — Wallace included.

"He is totally Fathead-worthy," said McInnis, who was president of Quicken Loans until about six weeks ago. "I want him to know that."