Stotts accuses Hamilton of holding Redd

Updated: May 4, 2006, 11:41 AM ET
Associated Press

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Milwaukee Bucks don't have much of a chance against the Detroit Pistons if Michael Redd is held to 11 points again.

The question now is: How can they free him up in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series?

"It's hard, as much as Rip was holding and grabbing," Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said Tuesday.

Stotts was referring to Richard Hamilton, who defended Redd and scored 21 points before leaving Game 1 with a sprained ankle as the Pistons coasted to an easy victory.

Milwaukee's first-year coach insisted he was not trying to send a message to the officials before Game 2 on Wednesday.

"But I did think that Michael was being held and grabbed a lot," Stotts said. "I'm just stating what I saw."

Redd averaged 25.4 points during the regular season, ranking among the NBA's scoring leaders, and had 120 points in four games against Detroit.

"To average 30 against Detroit, that's a slap in their face," Redd said. "They're not going to take that."

The Pistons focused their stifling defense Sunday night on Redd, who made just four of 15 shots -- none of them jumpers -- for a season-low 11 points.

"Grabbing, holding, crowding, everything," Redd said when asked what Detroit did to slow him down. "So their focus is on me. It's no secret."

Shutting down Redd led to the Bucks scoring a season-low 74 points, the fewest the franchise has ever scored in the playoffs, in an 18-point loss.

So how do the Pistons think the Bucks will adjust?

"I don't have the slightest [idea], but they better come up with something," Rasheed Wallace said.

The Pistons expect Hamilton will play on his sore left ankle, an injury that could lead to even more help defensively from post players when Redd drives to the basket.

"Rip is on one leg out there, so we have to pick up the slack," Antonio McDyess said.

The Bucks will not have reserve forward Toni Kukoc [back spasms] for the second straight game, but they might have a trend working for them.

Detroit has lost three straight Game 2s and four of its last five, dating to the 2004 NBA Finals. Before that stretch, the Pistons lost to Milwaukee two years ago in the second game of their first-round series.

"It's irrelevant," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said.

What the Pistons did in five games against Milwaukee to start their run to the 2004 title is insignificant at this point, but it's at least interesting to look at how Redd did in the first two games back then and on Sunday.

Redd was held to 11 points in Game 1 this year and the same total in the first game of the 2004 playoffs. The star guard bounced back two years ago with a playoff career-high 26 points to lead the Bucks to a series-tying victory against Detroit.

"We're not going to keep Michael to 11 points," Saunders said. "We did a nice job, but we all know he's going to get 20 to 30 because he's that good of a player. But we have to make him earn that."


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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