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Randy Foye struggles, gets little playing time, is dumbfounded about it

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Randy Foye always toes the line between honesty and loyalty to the coach during his post-game interview sessions.  As his playing time has increased, so to have the words in his post-game answers.  He talks a lot when he plays and says less when he doesn't.  

Regardless, Foye has always been the one guy who usually echoes what coach Flip Saunders says.  Even as Saunders has pushed Foye hard to become a better point guard, Foye has been right there echoing the coach's concerns.  Saunders at one point said this year that Foye desperately wants to get better and is harder on himself than even the coach.

That's what made tonight's interview session with Foye a bit jarring.  After playing just 18 ineffective minutes tonight, scoring just two points on 0-3 shooting while allowing Rajon Rondo to have an active game himself, Foye seemed a bit dumfounded by Saunders' decision to keep him off the floor in the fourth quarter.  

"Early on, I felt good. I got three assists right away, came out of the game, and that was it," Foye said, adding that "He didn't say nothing, he didn't say nothing," when asked whether Saunders told him what he did wrong.

Foye felt like he played decently before coming out, saying "I was coming off [screens], they were showing hard, so I was finding Mike [Miller and] finding Brendan [Haywood], but then I got taken out," but Saunders disagreed.  When asked about the decision to play Earl Boykins instead of Foye down the stretch, Saunders admitted that Boykins probably played too many minutes, but said "we really didn't have a choice."

"He struggled so bad in both his stints," Saunders said. "The only time we seemed to have any sort of pace was when Earl was in there."

Part of the problem, Saunders said, was the way Foye matched up with Rondo.  Foye denied that Rondo did anything differently than most point guards, but it was clear that Rondo took Foye out of sync on defense and punished him on offense.  Saunders said Foye's defense in particular was problematic.

"Earl was doing a better job on Rondo," Saunders said.  "Rondo was getting anywhere he wanted at the beginning of the game and early in the third quarter."

Saunders also indicated he grades Foye on a harsher curve than the rest of the guys who struggled because of the importance of the point guard position in his system.

"Randy will get better, but like Twan and some of the others, he struggled tonight," Saunders said.  "When he's playing PG and he struggles, everyone else struggles."

Perhaps Saunders was using this as a teaching lesson for Foye.  Perhaps Saunders really felt Foye gave him absolutely nothing tonight.  Either way, even a disappointed Foye found some way to be the company man when he was told he sounded confused about his lack of playing time.

"I'm not confused.  I want to go out and contribute, but you know, Earl went out there, did a great job.  He scored, he got the team in sets.  We had a chance to win, but we didn't pull it out toward the end."