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Rip Hamilton Shops for Masks, Sits Out

Mar 18, 2009 – 3:45 AM
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Matt Watson

Matt Watson %BloggerTitle%

The video, spotted by our friends at NESW Sports, should make Pistons fans laugh, which is a good thing, since Tuesday's loss to the Mavericks probably made them cry. The Pistons lost 103-101, but don't let the score fool you -- it took a 7-0 run at the end of the game, capped off by Will Bynum's uncontested bucket at the buzzer, to make the score look respectable.

With Rip Hamilton (groin) joining Rasheed Wallace (calf) and Allen Iverson (back) on the inactive list, the Mavericks more or less had this game from the opening tip.

Hamilton's absence was a bit of a surprise, but a groin injury that already forced him to miss eight games earlier in the year simply won't go away. From MLive's A. Sherrod Blakely:
"It hurts me; it kills me," he said. "It kills me more than anything, because mentally I'm trying to trick myself, trick myself to say that I'm all right. But when I come home, I'm on one leg."
The schedule provides no relief as the Pistons play Wednesday night in Houston. Michael Curry sounded hopeful (desperate?) after Tuesday's game that Hamilton might be able to play, but at best he'll be a game-time decision.

Regardless of whether Hamilton plays, is there any hope for the other two walking wounded to return? Unfortunately it doesn't look to be in the cards. The team predicted before they even left for the trip that Wallace would likely miss both games, while Iverson isn't even with the team.

Iverson hasn't traveled with the team (or even been seen by reporters at home games) since being diagnosed with a sore back two weeks ago, ostensibly to reduce the amount of stress on his back and speed up his recovery. In fact, while the Pistons traveled to Dallas to play the Mavericks, he was expected to fly to Georgetown University in D.C. to have his back re-examined by the same doctor that prescribed rest two weeks ago. If Iverson is cleared for action, the earliest he could return is Friday when the Pistons host the Clippers.

Curry already announced that Iverson will come off the bench once he's healthy enough to return, but those plans would almost certainly be moot if Hamilton's injury forces him to take another extended trip to the sidelines (which, to be clear, if pure conjecture at this point). Given the mysterious severity of Iverson's injury, you have to wonder if he'd be more willing to play through pain if it meant he could stay in a starting role. Stay tuned.
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