Charlie Villanueva was probably surprised when he was told he would have a chance to play significant minutes in the rotation, after having seemingly taken a post at the end of the bench next to Austin Daye.

But with Jonas Jerebko struggling mightily the past nine games, Lawrence Frank finally turned Villanueva's way, giving the much-maligned forward a shot during something other than garbage time.

Villanueva, known for his ability to score and to shoot effectively as a big man, entered Sunday's 121-100 loss to the Knicks with 10:53 remaining in the second, matched up against former Piston Rasheed Wallace. He stayed true to his reputation, putting up 15 shots in 19 minutes to score 17 points, making three of seven from three-point range.

"I was ready and prepared every game," Villanueva said. "Today he called my name and I was ready. You just have to be ready."

Ideally, he can stretch the floor as a threat but that hasn't been the case in recent time, as an ankle injury halted his ability to play last season, except for the final month. He said he wasn't too happy about his performance, considering the circumstances.

"To be honest, I prefer to get the win," said Villanueva, a native New Yorker. "I wanted the win tonight. It took me a minute to find my rhythm but I was able to hit a few shots."

Frank tempered any type of praise for Villanueva's showing, probably wanting to wait until he makes a real contribution in a win.

"I thought Charlie did well but we got drilled by 20," he said. "In terms of judging his performance, he made shots and did some good things. It's not a question of whether Charlie's a good player. He is a good player. You can only play so many guys."

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121126/SPORTS0102/211260336#ixzz2DLEYfsF0