Apparently it wasn't just dumb luck that Billups finished with 19 assists last night:
"I was in a nice rhythm, knocking down shots -- it was fun," said Billups, who scored 28 points, hitting 10 of 15 shots. "Carlos (Arroyo) told me I had 17 assists and I knew that was a career high, and I knew I wasn't going to be in the game much longer. So I started calling Rip's play. I knew he would shoot it."
Also, I think it's about time we put this "Ben Wallace isn't happy" stuff to rest. He met with Flip Saunders on Wednesday and talked things over:
"He's not saying he doesn't know what his role is," Saunders said before the Pistons played the Kings on Wednesday night. "Everybody in this league knows what Ben's role is. He was frustrated with the way we played (at Utah on Monday). We did not play (our game). We were unorganized. We played one-on-one basketball. We did not move the ball. That's not us.
"And any time you are 15-3 and one of your leaders is upset, that's a good sign. It means he's got more on his mind than just going through the season. He knows the importance of each game."
I thought Wallace's comments were even more insightful:
It was never about how many shots he got, Wallace said. He was just asking to be involved.
"When we start to stand around and stay on one side of the floor and we don't move the ball around, it definitely affects me it affects everybody's game," he said. "I know how I would like to defend a guy. I want a guy to just stand around, that way I know I have the upper hand. When we play like that, it doesn't benefit anybody. It doesn't complement our style.
"It's better for everybody when we play five-on-five and not four-on-five."
When the backcourt is on fire like they were last night, I don't mind a quick offense with one or two passes and a shot. But nights like last night are rare, and I agree with Wallace that the Pistons should exploit the depth of their starting five with more ball movement.
I remember watching Dennis Rodman play -- he would rarely score more than 10 points in a game, and he wasn't always racking up a lot of assists. But one thing that he had an uncanny knack for doing was making the pass that led to the pass that assisted on a bucket. I don't think Wallace is quite in Rodman's class in that regard, but all five of Detroit's starters are above average when it comes to facilitating ball movement. The offense doesn't have to funnel through Wallace, but it should at least include him.