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STACK SMACK: Stackhouse on his All-Star omission and the Pistons' playoff chances

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One of the most electrifying basketball players in the game, Jerry Stackhouse has captivated NBA fans ever since his pro debut in 1995. The former Tar Heels star scored 27 points in the first game of his rookie season and has improved his game every year, averaging 29.8 points and notching an NBA season-high 57 points in 2000-01. Check back frequently on FOXSports.com for Stack's insight and analysis throughout the season as the Pistons pursue a playoff berth.
For more on Stack, check out his official website at jerrystackhouse.com
Well, as you know by now, I wasn't selected as one of the reserves for the All-Star Game this season. I'm obviously a little disappointed, but the break will give me some much-needed rest because I'm still recovering from my groin injury. I'm feeling a lot better than before, but my leg muscles are still knotting up at different times. It's hampered my ability to jump a little bit and I've definitely noticed a difference when I'm going to the rim. I haven't been able to get the elevation that I normally do, but I'm still able to make quick moves and drive to the basket. I'm probably about as healthy as I'm going to be for the rest of the season, though. I'll just have to take it easy in the summer and rest for a couple months. But I'm not even thinking about the off-season right now — I really think our team is right there in the mix of things in the East. Sure, we kind of hit a skid where we couldn't win a game on the road, but right now we're just above .500 at the halfway point of the season. If we can find a way to get a couple of wins this week, that would put us in a good position coming back after the break. There are some areas that we could get better at and there's room to upgrade our talent, but I think we've been doing a pretty sound job overall.
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One thing that's in our favor is team chemistry. We're a close-knit group and I really think that will help us down the line. All of the guys on the Pistons — Michael Curry, Ben Wallace, Rodney White, Dana Barros and everyone else — are really close friends of mine. We've all had similar experiences off the court and most of us are married with families, so we usually spend a lot of time together on the road. I really can't say that there's one guy I would rather go to dinner with or prefer to do something with more than another. Another thing we have going for us in the second half is our coach, Rick Carlisle. I've played for a different head coach every year that I've been in the NBA and I can honestly say that he's been the best coach I've had some tenure with. Doug Collins was a great coach, too, though — he was one of the smartest X's and O's coach that I've ever played for. Rick's really similar to him and they share a lot of the same philosophies about the offensive end of the game. But while they're both great guys, I don't think I'll ever have a coach that will compare to Coach (Dean) Smith.
Tagged: Pistons, Jerry Stackhouse, Ben Wallace

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