Richard Hamilton is back in the Pistons’ starting lineup, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of Booth Newspapers. He will replace Allen Iverson, who is questionable with a sore back. But Detroit coach Michael Curry said the move would have come anyway.
More from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News:
“This change is more than about Allen and Rip,” Curry said. “We hope that with this change, more guys will play better. That’s what we are seeking. Hopefully this will allow us to execute better, get us back in sync and rejuvenate us.”
Curry said he talked at length to Iverson Thursday night. Curry said Iverson isn’t happy with the decision but he expects him to handle it like a pro.
“He’s been trying to play hurt and he’s been frustrated with that,” Curry said. “He didn’t react any different than Rip did when I told talked him about coming off the bench earlier. Neither guy wants to come off the bench, but this is the hand we’ve been dealt. If Allen is healthy, once he steps on the court I am convinced he will give us 110 percent.”
After the Pistons lost to New Orleans on Wednesday, Hamilton voiced his discontent. Via the Detroit News:
“I said I would come off the bench as long as we win,” Hamilton said. “But we’ve been losing. We are 4-12 with me coming off the bench. Something’s got to give. Something’s got to change. I am on board with doing whatever for the team but coming off the bench and we’re not winning, that’s something totally different.”
When Iverson missed a Feb. 10 game against the Bulls with the flu, Arron Afflalo started instead of Hamilton.
This is a good change. What the Pistons are doing isn’t working, so something had to be done. I’m not sure this is the best possible move, but it’s definitely better than standing pat.
The biggest worry is how Iverson will handle it. But he’s in a contract year, so he’ll put up with more than he normally will. Running with guys like Amir Johnson, Jason Maxiell and Afflalo in the Pistons’ second unit could boost his stock.
And the other starters should gel much better with Hamilton than they have with Iverson.