Curry in Detroit hot seat

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

The hot seat isn't new to Michael Curry, a self-made player who persevered through a lot of tough times.

But times are not good in Detroit and many are beginning to wonder about Curry's future with the Pistons.

The team is reeling and when things go south the finger of blame gets pointed at the head coach.

Entering tonight's game in South Beach, the Pistons have done little of late to suggest they're about to turn the corner.

With six successive losses amid growing frustration, Curry can only hope the team's veteran core will somehow find a way to rally in time to salvage the season.

"This is a tough time," Curry said about a team that has gone 2-8 in its past 10 games to drop to 27-27 for the season.

"The first time they're experiencing tough times in the regular season. But whenever you get to that point and it gets really, really tough, you've got to work that much harder and trust each other that much more."

The early season trade that saw Chauncey Billups head to Denver for Allen Iverson has been an unmitigated disaster.

Observers who watch the Pistons, a team that once embodied selflessness, see a team in disarray with no true identity.

By the time they return from a five-game road trip, the Pistons might find themselves out of the playoffs.

As fate would have it, the team's next home date is March 3 against Billups and the Nuggets.

Curry and Terry Porter served as assistants in Detroit under Flip Saunders.

When Saunders was released, Curry was promoted, while Porter replaced Mike D'Antoni in Phoenix.

Both the Pistons and Suns were coming off 50-win seasons.

Porter was shown the door last week.

Until the Pistons rediscover their pulse and purpose, talk of Curry being in over his head will only intensify.

Rafer madness

Rafer Alston's presence in Orlando has been contagious.

The most impactful trade at the deadline saw Alston move from Houston to Orlando, which desperately needed a point guard in the wake of Jameer Nelson's season-ending shoulder injury.

In two games with his new Magic teammates, Alston has led Orlando to two wins.

"Everybody's a little bit more motivated now and we've got to keep it up," Dwight Howard said. "We still have a chance to win a title, but everybody's got to pick it up.

"It starts with the point guard and with the man in he middle."

Alston's quickness allows him to push the ball up court.

Orlando can now use Alston in pick and roll sequences on a team that loves to heave three-pointers.

"It helps that I've played only one position in my life and that's point guard," Alston said. "So things come natural."

Naturally, the Magic is pleased to have Alston in its fold.

Au revoir Dalembert?

The newshounds in Philly flushed out info on Canadian Samuel Dalembert that generated very little attention, at least not outside the borders of the City of Brotherly Love.

According to reports, the Sixers were shopping Dalembert around, but couldn't find any takers.

What the future has in store for Dalembert is anyone's guess.

"I don't know what to think anymore," the Haitian-born, Montreal-raised centre said.

"It's part of the business. Everybody has to look out for themselves. The organization has to do what's best for them and I have to do what's best for Sam."

Wade wades in

Dwyane Wade went off for 50 points in a 23-point loss to the Heat's Florida brethren on Sunday.

Wade is so good he can score 50 any time he wants.

But all Wade wants to do is win and in the aftermath of Miami's loss to Orlando, his words resonated with a team-first approach.

"No one player alone can carry anything,'' he said. "I've never, ever thought that. If anybody thinks that, they're crazy.

"It takes a team to win, especially to win big.''

No wonder Wade is among the candidates for league MVP.

FRANK.ZICARELLI@SUNMEDIA.CA


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