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Brian Roberts Does The Palace
Brian Roberts Does The Palace
Published by Swampy Meadows
02-11-2013
Brian Roberts Does The Palace

AUBURN HILLS (MI) -- “From the Swamp” is coming at you from The Palace of Auburn Hills, home of the Detroit Pistons and the latest stop on the “Brian Roberts Rookie Season in the NBA” tour. The NOLA Hornets (soon to become “Pelicans”) and their first year player suited up Sunday night, a mere four hours drive up the 401 in Toronto. BRob acquitted himself rather nicely, netting thirteen points in only fourteen minutes, including a pair of three pointers and two assists in yet another NOLA loss. The Palace is the closest Brian will get to his hometown of Toledo (ninety miles away, as opposed to one hundred and fifteen to Quicken Arena in Cleveland), so there should be more than a few hometown fans in the house cheering on the former Flyer.

Four years ago, the 249 game consecutive sell-out streak at The Palace came to an inevitable end and a quick scan of the crowd during Pistons games on TV, the phrase “good seats still available” comes immediately to mind. The Detroiters are in rebuild mode and recently traded long-time star Tayshaun Prince and his clone Austin Daye to Memphis where they are now teamed with another former Flyer, Chris Johnson. The Griz visit The Palace next Tuesday and assuming CJ is still on the Memphis roster, I will be there as well.

I recall from Chris Wright’s visit to The Palace while with the Warriors last year that everything that happens before an NBA contest is according to the clock -- player shoot around, chapel, coach’s pre-game talk, warm-ups -- you name it. I won’t have a lot of time to talk to BRob so I had a short list of questions at the ready. Brian and I sat down after he was done going thru his drills with Assistant Coach Dave Hanners.

At what moment did you realize that you had finally made it in the NBA?

“During the pre-season when we played Miami. Even though it was just an exhibition, it still was the Heat, with DWade and LeBron. That’s when I knew I was in The Show.”

Did you and CJ get a chance to hang out when you played Memphis?

“Yeah we got a chance to talk a little bit before the game.”

Who is here from Toledo?

“Mostly friends….my immediate family moved from Toledo to Atlanta.”

Do you ever talk to BG?

“I called him before we played Atlanta. I was hoping he could come to the game but they had one of their own the next day.”

Your favorite UD game -- Pitt or Miami?

“Boy, both of them were memorable, but that Pitt game was something. The crowd was so loud and I felt like I couldn’t do anything wrong that day. But the Miami game really turned our season around that year.”

What do you miss most about UD?

“The tightness of the community and the fans…they are so knowledgeable and loyal.”

What does Chris Wright have to do to make it back to the NBA?

“Make the most of his opportunities and be in the right place at the right time.”

Doug Hauschild asked me to ask you: Will you be coming to Dayton at all during the All Star Break?

“No, I won’t because my wife and I are expecting our son in about a week and a half. We’re going to name him Cole.”

What is New Orleans like?

“It’s really a nice place…there is a lot to see and do and the food is great.”

What is your favorite NBA city so far?

“New York, because I had never played in the Garden before. And LA because it’s LA and because of the Staples Center.”

What kind of rookie hazing are you going thru? CW had to wear a My Little Pony backpack wherever he went last year.

“I’m the donut guy—I buy donuts every morning. Our team is so young we don’t do much of that stuff.”

Thanks for your time, Brian!

Unlike last year, where I had to wait until the game was a blowout and pray that Golden State Coach Mark Jackson would give CW some burn, B-Rob is a regular part of Monty Williams’ NOLA rotation.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is in the house. What’s he doing here--I thought he was a Bulls fan?

My identical twin, Piston’s Assistant Brian Hill has grown a goatee so it’s easier for us tell each other apart.

Ran into my buddy Terry Foster in the hall. T-Fos is doing double duty today—he just finished his afternoon drive radio show on “97.1 The Ticket” (where we worked together) and now he’s covering the Pistons for The Detroit News.

Pistons first round pick Andre Drummond is a scratch; Doc’s son Austin is getting the nod for the Hornets. The Pistons have dropped the flamethrowers when they do the team intros. They will not be missed.

The Pistons continue their layup line from warm-ups right into the game and open an 8-0 edge out of the gate, forcing Monty Williams to burn a blow. The TO strategy works like a charm, as the Hornets answer with an 8-0 run of their own and we are tied. The NOLA offense then turns into “The Robin Lopez Show” as the big guy scored 11 in rapid succession for a 6 point bulge. BRob entered the game with 3:26 left in the 1st after Austin Rivers picked up his 2nd PF. He has to cover Brandon Knight which is a decent matchup for him. BRob misses his first shot, a mid-range jumper coming off a screen. He then switches to Rodney Stuckey and fouls him in the act, for the hoop and the harm. BRob had trouble finding the handle on the rock as the quarter ends, with NOLA up 27-23.

BRob drained a nice three for his first points to open the 2nd quarter; then assisted on a Jason Smith jumper. He then picked up his 2nd PF trying to stop the freight train that is Greg “Moose” Monroe. Brian then made a tremendously heady play, as he took a charge on a streaking Will Bynum who had lobbed it to a teammate for a dunk that was waved off. Maybe it’s just my Red & Blue glasses but the Hornets team seems to run smoother with Roberts in there rather than Rivers. Brian rimmed out another trey and then headed to the bench with 7:24 left in the quarter. Ryan Anderson drains a pair of triples and NOLA is up 55-41 at the intermission.

Martha Reeves and The Vandellas for halftime entertainment? Works for me!

I just noticed that Eric Gordon was a DNP-CD in the 1st half. This is the 2nd game in a back-to-backer for the Hornets and Gordon is still healing.

NOLA runs out to a 66-48 lead with 7 and change left in the 3rd and teen sensation Lawrence Frank is forced to call a TO. They extend it to 77-57 with 2:33 to go in the 3rd. BRob takes off his sweats and enters with a mere 59.9 left, as Monty makes wholesale line changes. He drives to the hoop but misses a twisting layup, then commits his 3rd PF before the horn sounds, with NOLA up by 16.

Brian is still out there as we enter the final frame, chasing Will Bynum around when he picked up his 4th and then his 5th, so he is leading both teams in personals. With a double digit lead, Coach Williams was content to leave BRob in there to break the Piston pressure and rest starting PG Greivis Vasquez, who finally returns with 8 minutes remaining. The Detroiters try to make the game interesting, but Ryan Anderson drains a long three to take the air out of the building and restore NOLA to a 15 point advantage at the under 3:00 media TO.

Final score:

New Orleans 105

Detroit 86


Not Brian’s best statistical game as a Hornet, but he handled the rock well and absolutely looked like he belonged out there.

It appears that Flyer fans can look forward to seeing Brian Roberts in “The Show” for years to come.

That’s it “From the Swamp.”
You can email me at: swampy@udpride.com
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  #1  
By Chris R on 02-11-2013, 10:23 PM
Great job Swamper!
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  #2  
By Canonball on 02-12-2013, 08:50 AM
What I've noticed about BRob in the pros thus far, and I've been able to watch him a bunch given where I live, is that he finds ways to contribute regardless if he's shooting well. The other thing is that he's gaining confidence everytime he goes out. Probably played his best offensive game of the year against Toronto.
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