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Nazr’s limited role (partially) explained

Krista Jahnke of the Detroit Free Press offers a clue why Nazr Mohammed has seen such little playing time this year:

Mohammed played 14 minutes in the loss to Sacramento, attempting one shot.

Saunders limited Mohammed because Wallace, although he missed all nine of his shots, was scooping up rebounds. Also, Mohammed is still learning the system, and so far, Saunders has hesitated to use him when opponents go small.

"I don't feel like it has to be that way," Mohammed said. "We play team defense, but at the same time, it's not my decision."

So it's Nazr's defense that's holding him back? I don't watch hours of game film on off days like Saunders does, so I'll defer to him on this one, but I will point out that Nazr is averaging 1.8 blocks in just 21 minutes of action so far. And with what he brings to the table on offense, wouldn't his presence help exploit a small lineup and force the opposition to match up instead of the other way around?

Team tries to find its rhythm [Detroit Free Press]