Even the Dallas media was confused about Michael Curry's smallball lineup at the end of the first half on Friday. From Tim McMahon of the Dallas Morning News:
The Detroit Pistons went with a smallish lineup in the final four minutes of the first half and it ended up allowing the Mavericks go on a serious run.
They finished the half ahead 63-51 after scoring 12 of the last 14 points of the half.
Allen Iverson, Rodney Stuckey and Rip Hamilton were on the floor together the whole time and the Pistons were outrebounded badly during the stretch. The Mavericks picked of two offensive rebounds on one possession, the second of which was Brandon Bass' massive putback slam of a Jason Terry miss.
The Mavs never looked back, leading by as much as 25 in the fourth before pulling their starters. Curry seemed to regret the decision after the game, which would be encouraging if it weren't so incredible obvious from the start. As DBB reader Forty said in the comments:
I have no idea why Michael Curry is an NBA coach. It is as ridiculous as Isiah Thomas being a GM. I watch a lot of sports, and none of my teams has ever had someone as incompetent as Curry coaching them. He wants to play a halfcourt game with one big man! How stupid is that?!? You will get no offensive rebounds and the other team will get many. You are disadvantaged in pnr defense. And you get none of the main advantage of smallball: getting a high ts% b/c you constantly fast break and generate easy baskets.
That's the weird thing about Wee-troit Basket-ball -- when most teams go small, they run-and-gun; when the Pistons go small, they stay in their regular, slow offense (the Pistons rank 27th in offensive pace). Even with a traditional lineup this roster is going to struggle offensively (they don't rebound, and they don't feature efficient shooters), so going even smaller simply makes things worse.
I'm confused -- wasn't the lineup change supposed to mean we didn't have to talk about this anymore? Here's to hoping this was the nail in the coffin.