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Fan's view: Ex-Detroit Piston Carlos Arroyo got a raw deal with the Miami Heat

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Former Detroit Pistons guard Carlos Arroyo could be playing a key supportive role for the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, if the Heat had not unwisely gotten rid of him early in March.

As a Pistons' fan, I never thought much of Arroyo during the 90 games he played during the 1995-95 and 1995-96 seasons. He barely hit more than one-third of his shots.

But he improved after he left Detroit, and I was surprised to see him starting with the Dwyane Wade/LeBron James/Chris Bosh trio for the Miami Heat as the start of this season.

Furthermore, Arroyo seemed to be giving a good account of himself. He was splitting time with Mario Chalmers, and he shot 46 percent from the floor and 44 percent from three-point range. In fact, the Heat might have done even worse during their early season slump if not for Arroyo.

But apparently Pat Riley, the Heat boss, didn't think so. He dumped Arroyo after 49 games and acquired the more highly regarded Mike Bibby from the Atlanta Hawks. Riley might be having second thoughts after seeing Bibby shoot 25 percent during the first 16 playoff games. Miami would be better off with Arroyo instead of Bibby. The Heat are winning in spite of Bibby, not because of him.

Other playoff notes:

--- A popular axiom among basketball traditionalists is that if you live by the three-point shot, eventually you will die by the three-point shot. Let's see what happens with LeBron James in the Heat-Mavs series. Basketball pundits, after questioning James all season, suddenly are declaring him a brilliant Mr. Clutch. He's a career 33 percent triple shooter who is suddenly hitting 41 percent in the playoffs, including 4 of 5 during the Heat's 92-84 win in the Finals opener. I'll bet if he goes cold in a future game, the commentators will start talking about "bad shot selection." Of course, Pistons fans will never forget when LeBron beat us almost singlehandedly in Game 6 of the 2007 Eastern finals, with the Cavs, when he unleashed an incredible (and uncharacteristic) run of three-pointers down the stretch.

--- Remember the start of the regular season when the referees, following NBA instructions, where giving players technical fouls for the slightest complaint or grimace? That's back when the 'ËœStones Rip Hamilton got tossed from games three times in a short stretch. It seems like all of that now if forgotten. Just watch. The Mavs' Dirk Nowitzki, the Heat's D-Wade, and all of them can gripe, wince and sulk to their hearts' content.

SOURCES

http://www.nba.com/heat/stats/

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=310531014

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/lebron_james/

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