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Flip on Darko Milicic’s late-game effort

Flip Saunders didn't take kindly to Darko's suggestion that one of the reasons he doesn't play as hard late in games is because he's coming in cold:

"Your bottom line, when you step on the floor, you've got to produce," Saunders said. "Your job is to stay loose. Do whatever you have to do. Stretches during time-outs, or whatever you have to do, that's part of your job. I understand the difficulties of it, but I'm not going to let them use that as an excuse when you're 20 years old. When I was 20 years old, I could get out of bed at 6 a.m. and go run and jump and do whatever."

Why is it so important for Darko to play hard every single minute? Because he has the skills to be a productive offensive player and the talent to be a game-changing defensive player with his blocked shots. Case in point his performance in the last game -- he was credited with just two blocks, even though many peopleNot me -- I missed this game. are saying that he actually altered four or five:

Anyone concerned that the scorekeepers in Milwaukee shorted Milicic a block or two Saturday, fret not. Saunders said his staff will review the game tape and chart his blocks. If they count more than two -- the number on the official box score -- they will alert the NBA in hopes that the missing blocks would be credited to the records. "I think the guy was writing down blocks like this," said Saunders as he looked down and scratched an imaginary block on an imaginary stat sheet, "and he was out there blocking two more."

DARKO'S EFFORT [Detroit Free Press]