Michael Curry: Richard Hamilton, Allen Iverson both to start tonight vs. Charlotte Bobcats
by A. Sherrod Blakely
Tuesday January 13, 2009, 12:43 PM
The biggest question facing Detroit Pistons coach Michael Curry has been about how he would handle Richard Hamilton's return to action.
Would Hamilton keep his pre-injury spot in the starting lineup? Or would Allen Iverson keep starting alongside Rodney Stuckey?
Well, contrary to recent speculation, it's going to be both, Curry said at practice today. At least for now.
Hamilton, who has been sidelined for eight games due to a partial groin tear, will finally be back on the floor tonight for the 7:30 p.m. tip against the Charlotte Bobcats, who are led by former Pistons coach Larry Brown.
Because of comments made by Hamilton to the Detroit media that he was unwilling to come off of the bench, many saw the shooting guard's return as a potential land mine for the Pistons and the continuity they achieved during their recently snapped seven-game winning streak.
My fears about the Pistons have been confirmed. Michael Curry is a mediocre coach who is more concerned with keeping his players happy than making the tough decision that puts the Pistons in the best situation to win. They won 7 straight games without Rip in the line-up, I don't think that is a coincidence. It's not that Richard Hamilton is the problem, but small ball just doesn't work for this team. When you think a textbook shooting guard, Rip is one of the guys that comes to mind. He has no business at SF, he will get handled defensively. And Tayshaun as a 4 just takes away the advantage of his length and allows him to become a liability to get posted up against teams with interior scoring.
Rip came out Saturday and said there was no chance that he came off the bench, and I actually agree he shouldn't. The answer should be to try to convince Iverson to come off the bench. Unlike Hamilton, A.I. can actually set players up and can carry a team offensively if they want to run a defensive line-up with guys like Aaron Afflalo in the game. It gives the Pistons a dynamic bench player unmatched by anyone the Celtics, Magic, Cavaliers, or Hawks can trot out. The problem is convincing him to come off the bench. A good coach knows how to balance a 3 guard line-up and still get each around 30 minutes a game. I fear Michael Curry isn't that coach, and that he will ultimately fail like Flip Saunders before him.
My reaction to the return of small ball and the complete medicrity of my playoff picks can be summed up in one moment with Jake Delhomme: