After tonight’s loss to the Pacers, @stickradio tweeted:
@CV31 I ride or die for the Stones. But Q doesn’t put u guys in the best position to win. Sad too. Talent is there
I understand why he’s upset. He played just three minutes, none in the second half.
But that’s not John Kuester’s fault.
In his three minutes, Villanueva missed both his shots, grabbed a rebound, committed a foul, turned the ball over and did nothing to stop Tyler Hansbrough from going wild. He deserved to have Jason Maxiell take his second-half minutes.
This reminds me of something Joe Dumars said this summer:
KEITH LANGLOIS: I asked at your postseason press conference what you could do in your position to influence toughness. The coaches are in charge of making it a daily point of emphasis, but what you could do. And you said communication, making sure everyone was on the same page. And when I asked if that process had started, you said – immediately. Can you give us a sense of what type of response this communication has gotten.
JOE DUMARS: First of all, it’s been made crystal clear that if you’re not one of those guys that is exhibiting that, that it would be in your interest to start doing so immediately. So I think, first and foremost, that’s the point that’s been made. And if you don’t think that you can exhibit that, if you don’t think you can play that brand of basketball, there’s no sin in raising your hand and letting me know that I can’t play that kind of basketball. Because one way or another, it’s going to come to an end anyway. If you don’t want to go through the aggravation of an organization that’s saying that you have to play a tough brand of basketball, a winning brand of basketball – if you don’t want to go through that aggravation – it’s no sin to have your agent call me and let me know that my guy can’t play like that.
I’d think that applies to meeting the Pistons’ off-the-court expectations, too. I appreciate that Villanueva or his agent hasn’t told Dumars that Villanueva can’t keep up (at least as far as I know). Villanueva seems like a proud guy who always believes he can fix his shortcomings and often takes steps to do that. I applaud him for that.
But at what point does Dumars step in? There are just too many signs Villanueva will never figure it out.
If Dumars can trade Villanueva – and with three years and $24.18 million left on the forward’s contract, I’m not sure that’s possible – he should.