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An inside look at the Detroit Pistons and the NBA.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Villanueva tweaks hamstring

It has not been a great week for Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva, who injured his hamstring earlier this week and has missed the last two days of practice. Villanueva could miss Monday's preseason game against Miami.

Head coach John Kuester said he was unsure if Villanueva will play, especially since they don't want to rush anything during the preseason. “We are just worried about (getting) him healthy,” Kuester said.

Earlier this week Villanueva was dealt another blow when the NBA instituted a policy regarding Twitter and other social media sites that restricts players from filing updates from 30 minutes prior to the game until they have filled all their obligations after a game.

Villanueva made national headlines when he tweeted during the halftime of a game, while with the Milwaukee Bucks last season.

“It sucks,” Villanueva said with a laugh when asked about the rule. “I understand. I guess that’s ‘The Villanueva Rule.’ It’s amazing. I didn’t think I would affect the league like that. I guess I did. But it is what it is. You have to respect it.”

A young veteran
Jason Maxiell is entering his fifth season with the Pistons and is in that middle point of his career, where he's not a rookie, but also not quite a seasoned veteran

Maxiell said he is still trying to learn from the veterans, but also take on a more vocal role. His role minute-wise this season is still up in the air. Maxiell’s minutes have been all over the map throughout his time with the Pistons, but he said he’s just focused on being ready to play regardless if his minutes are going to be up or down.

“It’s going to be a different year, with a different coaching staff,” Maxiell said. “A lot is going be different. With Rasheed (Wallace) and (Antonio) McDyess gone everything is going to change this year. I was coming into the summer just trying to workout and everything. Focusing on facing up and trying to (become) the four-man that can knock down the 15-footer like ’Dyess did and also be a guy that bangs down low.”

Kuester said the preseason is going to be important for Maxiell as he learns what the team wants to get accomplished.

“I think the preseason will dictate a lot about where his plans are because he’s an energy player,” Kuester said. “Once he absorbs what you are trying to get accomplished, he’s a very effective basketball player. I’m real anxious to see as the preseason progresses, what is going to end up happening.

“At first he was sort of getting the lay of the land. Then all of a sudden it clicked in a couple times. He recognizes that it’s very important that his energy is sustained throughout. That’s where I’m looking at him and recognizing his basketball intelligence is there to make us better because he doesn’t have the size that a lot of power forwards have, but he makes up with his intelligence and his energy.”


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