The Pistons and their fans got a big surprise right before the tip of last night’s 95-104 victory over The Golden State Warriors. Richard Hamilton took the court after missing all but one game this season with a high ankle sprain. The victory over the Warriors extends Detroit’s winning streak to five games and puts them at 11-12 for the season, just one win shy of getting back to 500 basketball.
- After twenty one games without Mr. Hamilton, Pistons fans can thank Mrs. Hamilton for his return. In Rip’s post-game interview he credits his wife TJ for convincing him to get back on court.
“I talked to my wife and the one thing she told me pretty much was ‘Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Go out there and give it a try,'” said Hamilton, who played 37 minutes. “I hadn’t practiced, I hadn’t run or done any sprints but when I lay down for my nap I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to make up my mind right now and go ahead and play.'”
“I was just happy to be out there on the floor,” he said. “I didn’t care what anything felt like. I just felt joy, being able to play something that you love. … I knew I was going to be rusty. I knew from not playing, I was not going to have a rhythm, the timing’s going to be off and things like that. But I just felt if I can get out there and run and my wind is cool, I’ll figure it out.” via NBA.com
- Rip took his starting position last night for Detroit and didn’t disappoint. Hamilton scored 18 points on 6-for-15 shooting with 3 steals, 2 boards and an assist. Despite not playing in quite some time and at Rips’ admission, with no real conditioning or practicing, he played quite well. He even set a milestone as a Piston, surpassing the 10,000 point mark in red, blue and white. Good to have him back.
- 22 turnovers for Detroit, really? I thought we were getting that number under control. Consider it a gift to win this one when the Warriors were making the best of the Pistons mishaps.
- No Ben Gordon, no Will Bynum and still no Tayshaun Prince in this one, but they were all on the bench cheering on their team.
- Jason Maxiell looked sharp last night doing the little things that make him what we know him to be. Jason scored 10, with 8 boards and a steal in 22 minutes. He’s almost the Maxi we know he can be, he’s just not quite there yet this season.
- Chucky Atkins contributing big time for Detroit. You would really never know it unless you are watching these games, but Chucky is making key plays and helping the flow of the offense when he’s out there. Atkins with 9 points, 6 assists, 1 board and 3 turnovers in 33 minutes.
- Rodney Stuckey with the hot hand, leading all scorers with a 29 point season high on 10-for-18 shooting, with 7 assists. He was making some tough baskets and getting to the stripe all night. I hate to bring it up on a big night for Stuck, but 7 turnovers! Got to do better there Rodney.
- DaJuan Summers with .07 seconds on the court and another DNP for Chris Wilcox. I’m just stunned that my prediction about Chris has been so off, maybe it has to do with Ben Wallace tearing things up or maybe it’s just because Wilcox is underachieving.
- Austin Daye with 11 minutes on court with 2 points and 2 boards. I will say this, the kid isn’t scared to take the big shot and thankfully he’s making them when he does.
- Detroit looked like they were going to get this one out of the way early, but the Warriors and Monta Ellis didn’t cooperate. Golden State led by as much as 13 until the Pistons went on their run in the second and clawed their way back. This one was tied 6 times with 6 lead changes, and was quite enjoyable to watch.
- Whether things are going for them or not, this team puts 100% effort on the floor every night. You have to love that from a fan’s perspective.
- Jonas Jerebko with 6 points, 5 boards and 2 assists in 26 minutes. Gotta love JJ for doing whatever it takes on the offense or the defense. He’s had some tough defensive assignments and from the looks of it he’s getting better and better each game.
- The no look pass from Chucky Atkins to Jonas Jerebko for the dunk.
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- I would have liked to see Bynum and Gordon play against the Warriors’ quick, no defense style of play.
- Kuester: So this is what a coach can do! As we all try to forget the nightmare that was last season.
- Ben Wallace with 9 boards, 2 points, 2 blocked shots and 2 steals in 27 minutes. I never thought it would be this great to hear that familiar gong again at the Palace.
- Charlie Villanueva with a big game again for Detroit, 24 points in 33 minutes off the Pistons bench. The man was 1 board (9) away from a double-double, adding 2 steals and an assist, while going 6-for-6 from the line. Play of the night would have to be the the alley-oop from Chucky to CV31 for the jam. Will have to get that one on a highlight reel for you soon.
- Give a ton of credit for these wins to the Pistons rebounding dominance, Detroit is second in the league at grabbing boards. The Pistons won Saturday’s war against the Warriors 39-25.
- Add some more credit to Kuester who’s makeshift lineups and rotations are working.
- Highlights of the Game via NBA.com
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- Post Game Recap and Rip Hamilton interview via Pistons.com
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- Next up a Tuesday night game in Houston against the Rockets.