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Monday, October 5, 2009

Wallace to start tonight

Ben Wallace will be in the starting lineup in his first game back at The Palace as a Pistons when Detroit hosts the Heat tonight in the preseason opener. Wallace has earned a spot in the starting lineup by his impressive play thus far in training camp.

“Don’t kid yourself there is juice in that body still,” Pistons head coach John Kuester said. “I’m very impressed with what he’s done in practice. I think our players are impressed with him.

Wallace entered training camp with a bit of a head start after playing under Kuester for the last season and a half in Cleveland, something Wallace has used to his advantage. Wallace said he had no expectations entering the preseason, but Kuester said he has seen a motivated Wallace.

“If Ben Wallace was not doing the things that he has been doing in practice, he would not play,” Kuester said. “But if he continues to do what he’s doing right now, he will play because he deserves to play.”

Wallace will be joined in the staring lineup by Rodney Stuckey, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Kwame Brown, who has also impressed Kuester in training camp.

Villanueva out for tonight
Charlie Villanueva will miss Monday’s preseason game with a hamstring injury. Villanueva injured his hamstring during last Thursday’s night practice and has missed practice since, doing only light workouts.

“We’re making sure that he understands we’re in this thing for the long haul,” Kuester said. “He’s slowly but surely working his way into it. Arnie has done a great job with him. I tell you this right now he probably wants to look forward to practices as opposed to be with Arnie the entire practice.

“He’s continually getting more and more involved. We’re going to play that by ear. If it were during the regular season, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were capable of playing.”


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