What was left unsaid in my post about Friday's loss to the Knicks was that Carlos Delfino didn't play a single minute while Maurice Evans logged 17. I've repeated my preference for Delfino over Maurice Evans so much that even I'm starting to get a little bored, so I'm going to make a strong effort to ease up a bit over the final month of the season. But rest assured, with every DNP-CDDid Not Play - Coach's Decision I see after Delfino's name in the box score I'm silently fuming.
But before I begin my silence, I want to point out A. Sherrod Blakely's article on MLive.com regarding Delfino's situation:
There have been games when Carlos Delfino has played well, only to not play at all the next game.
Welcome to Delfino's world, where the only thing consistent about his minutes is that they will be inconsistent.
"I try to take every chance I have," said Delfino. ... "I have to wait. It's strange because sometimes, one game, two games, I play and I do OK. And then, I don't play. It's strange to me."
Strange to you and me both, Carlos.
Obviously Delfino's decline in minutes started with Tony Delk's arrival, which, coincidentally, happened to be right around it dawned on Flip Saunders that it might be a good idea to have an established eight-man rotation. Delk's long-distance shooting and tough defense have been a nice asset for Detroit, so I can see why he's in, but (broken record alert) I just don't understand his insistence to play Maurice Evans over Delfino, who I think is clearly superior on both offense and especially defense.
Come playoff time, when micromanaging matchups becomes more important that establishing rotations, there's still hope that Delfino could return to regular action.
Delfino's situation is similar to what Tayshaun Prince went through as a rookie.
"And you look what he (Prince) did come playoff time," Saunders said. "I'm sure that at some point when Carlos gets extended minutes, he can be a productive player, too."
For those that don't remember, Prince played in just 42 games as a rookie (Rick Carlisle, in his infinite wisdom, was still starting Michael Curry back then). The Pistons entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed but quickly fell to a 3-1 deficit to the No. 8 seed Magic, until, on a desperate whim, Carlisle inserted the long-limbed Prince, who almost instantly became a Tracy-McGrady-stopper. The Pistons went on to rally back and win the series in seven games (winning the next series against Philly and being swept to the Nets in the conference semis).
Don't rule out Delfino enjoying a similar coming out party in the playoffs this year, especially if he gets matched up against Dwayne Wade in the conference semis.
In the meantime, I'm going to at least try to hold my tongue on the issue... but that doesn't mean that you, the reader, has to. I've stated my case on the Carlos Delfino vs. Mo Evans debate numerous times, as have a lot of you in the comments.
But consider this an official call for opinions on the issue. Who do you want to see in the rotation: Mo Evans or Carlos Defino? Vote in the poll on the right and explain why in the comments below.