In Detroit, D still comes first; youth coming up fast

Updated: October 25, 2005, 3:35 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Five observations from Pistons camp:

1. Not-So-Dark Days: Darko Milicic, blocking shots?

Darko Milicic
Darko should see more minutes and less time posting up.

Darko Milicic, scoring points in crunch time?

Darko Milicic, actually calling for the ball?

The Pistons have seen all of the above from the 2003 No. 2 overall pick in the first two weeks of the season. After two years of inactivity (and worse) under Larry Brown, Darko is finally getting a chance to contribute from Flip Saunders.

"Darko's looking really good," teammate Chauncey Billups said. "I'm proud of him."

No one in Detroit, mind you, is getting too carried away. Milicic remains No. 4 in the Pistons' power rotation behind Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess.

However …

Saunders has Darko facing the basket and playing out on the floor more, whereas Brown saw the long lefty as a post prospect only. The difference is noticeable already.


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Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics