Again, Detroit Pistons G Richard Hamilton did not play for the 4th straight game. Head coach John Kuester has left Hamilton out of the rotation as he is seeking ways to find the right combination. So far so good, as the Pistons are 3-1 after a Martin Luther King holiday afternoon game against the Dallas Mavericks. Detroit could not stop F Dirk Nowitski who had 32 points, but kept everyone else on the Maverick team in check including Jason Kidd who had 0 points – he did however have 13 assists.
Back to Hamilton, it has to be hard being a former All-Star, NBA champion sitting on the bench no matter if his team is winning or not. Hamilton season average is down this year from his career average, but it is still a respectable 13.2. The problem is with his attitude as his welcome has been worn out in Detroit. Sure, the fans appreciate all what he has done through the years especially bringing home an NBA championship in 2004. But let’s be honest, he has not been the same player since the Pistons traded Chauncey Billups. He’s never been a leader and instead of showing everyone what he learned from captain Billups, he has demonstrated more what he has learned from Rasheed Wallace (technicals, clashing with coaches) the last couple of seasons.
Still, it has to be awkward for the Pistons’ players. Hamilton is popular withhis teammates and with the community. Even though his play has been in somewhat of a decline, Hamilton still has game and can add value to any NBA team. So who has taken Hamilton’s minutes – Tracy McGrady and Will Bynum. McGrady has started at the point since Kuester juggled the lineup. McGrady seems to have the Pistons offense under control more so than Rodney Stuckey or Ben Gordon ever did. And Bynum is playing some at the #2 position where he is able to create his own shot. Case in point, Bynum scored 20 points in the win against the Mavs.
Another person benefiting from the rotation shakeup – C/F Greg Monroe. The rookie from Georgetown had another impressive night as he scored 16 points and had 9 rebounds. In his last 7 games, Monroe has averaged 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds. Monroe has so far developed very nicely being the #7 overall pick in last year’s draft.
The Richard Hamilton saga will continue as long as he is wearing a Piston uniform. It will be interesting to see if anything develops this week especially with the Pistons playing the New Jersey Nets on Friday.
About the Author
Written by Bob Ballard