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Rip Hamilton Returns to Starting Lineup

Feb 27, 2009 – 1:35 PM
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Brett Pollakoff

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Is this a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease, or a team desperate for a win determined to keep making changes until they get one?

If you're the Detroit Pistons, it's probably a little bit of both.

Following Rip Hamilton's comments the other day that he was no longer cool with coming off the bench, Michael Curry announced that Hamilton will be returned to the starting lineup Friday when the Pistons visit the Magic.
"It's nothing on Allen," Curry said. "He's just a guy that needs the basketball and because of it that, it reduced the time Stuckey had the ball in his hands."
Well, actually, it's something on Allen. The Pistons have lost eight straight, and are just 4-12 with Iverson starting and Hamilton coming off the bench. And with Iverson leaving in the first half during the team's last game in New Orleans, Detroit actually played better without him, and had a solid chance to win before Rasheed Wallace went crazy.

Now technically, this isn't as bold of a move by Curry (or the organization -- who knows who's in charge at this point) as it would have been had he chosen to bench Iverson in favor of Hamilton initially. Iverson is a game-time decision in Orlando, and may not be able to go at all due to the back spasms that flared up during the Hornets game. Still, it's clear that something has to change in Detroit, and since the coach seems to be firmly in place through the end of the year, all that's left to do now is to tinker with the starting lineup in hopes that things begin to turn around.
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