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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pistons Charlie Villanueva frustrated by DNP

Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva put it best when he said, “It’s been a roller-coaster ride for me all year.”

A game after being benched for the entire second half, Villanueva earned a DNP-CD (did not play, coaches decision) Wednesday in the Pistons loss to the Miami Heat. It was his first DNP-CD in nearly two years.

“Of course it’s frustrating, you want to play,” said Villanueva, whose last DNP-CD came on April 12, 2008. “I’m very passionate about the game, of course you want to play. But it’s not about me. If I go in or not, it’s not about me. I’m going to cheer my teammates on and help in anyway possible.”

Pistons coach John Kuester said he can’t play everybody and decided to go in another direction, playing some of Detroit’s younger players.

“We made some changes with our rotation and we wanted to give some other guys a look right now,” Kuester said. “It was my decision. That’s the direction that I want to go in right now.”

The changes were apparently news to Villanueva, who said he was the wrong guy to talk to about why he didn’t play.

“There was nothing that was said to me,” Villanueva said. “I don’t know what’s going on. Nothing was really discussed with me.”

Villanueva has had a disappointing season with Detroit since signing a five-year, $35 million deal in the offseason. Villanueva is averaging 11.8 points and 4.7 rebounds this season, down form the 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds he averaged with the Bucks last season.

Villanueva has averaged just 8.3 points and 3.6 rebounds since the All-Star break.

Kuester said it will be a game-to-game situation when asked about Villanueva’s status moving forward.

Villanueva was asked if him and Kuester were on the same page, a question Villanueva actually laughed at.

“Are me and Kuester on the same page?” Villanueva said repeating the question before a puzzled laugh. “I don’t know how to answer that one, to be honest with you.”

Villanueva has been battling several injuries including plantar fasciitis and back spasms this season, but said he was good to go health wise.

“They’re still there, but it hasn’t stopped me before so it’s defintely not going to stop me now,” Villanueva said. “Am I hurt? Everybody’s hurt. But I’m going to keep playing.”


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