The Pistons had one of three back Saturday night, when Richard Hamilton returned after being out six games with a groin injury. The Pistons are thanking Rip today after a tight one that came down to the wire in Washington. The Pistons needed all of Hamilton’s 31 points in their 96-98 victory of the Wizards.
- If you watched the game (or were there, like many Pistons fans) you noticed something that you haven’t seen in quite some time. Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson were in uniform and on the bench, but did not see any minutes in Saturday’s victory.
- Give it up again to Kwame Brown, who made some key defensive plays to help seal this one. None bigger than the last play of the game when Arenas had a chance to win the game with a three after a purposely missed free throw. Kwame finished with 11 boards, a blocked shot and a steal in 25 minutes.
- “I saw Gilbert already going into his shot,” Brown said. “He was loading up before he got the went up for the shot, so I just jumped. Then he tried to kick his leg out to get the foul. Good job by the ref not calling it. He tried to initially throw it off me, but I kind of blocked it a little bit. Caron got a clean look. That was the longest 4 seconds I’ve ever seen.” Via NBA.com
- Pre and post game Richard Hamilton made it clear that with the Pistons in the playoff predicament that they are in, he had no choice than to return to help his team. “No choice.” If only everyone shared Rip’s mentality.
- Gilbert Arenas, who played for the first time in what seems like forever for the Wizards. Arenas finished with 15 points on 3-for-12 shooting and 10 assists in 30 minutes and was the key to the Wizards rally from a 15 point, second half deficit.
- Richard Hamilton led the Pistons with 31 points, on 11-29 shooting in his return to the court. Sixteen of those coming in the third quarter alone and for what seemed like forever, Rip just kept knocking down threes(3) from the same spot in the corner in the third. He went 5 for 9 from downtown with 4 boards, 3 assists.
- Will Bynum’s minutes may have been cut short with Rip’s return but that didn’t stop him from throwing down a monster slam that wowed the Wizards crowd. So good, it was NBA.com’s DUNK OF THE NIGHT. Will finished with 9 points in 17 minutes, with 4 assists, a steal and 5 turnovers.
- Allen Iverson is looking at a Tuesday return against The Cavaliers, but if that means he has to take medication to play, he’s not going to do it. “That’s what I don’t want to do,” Iverson said of being medicated for the pain. “As bad as I want to get out there on the court, I just want to do what’s right for me. I don’t want to go out there and feel good while I’m out there, and feel awful when the game is over and not heal at all.” Via MLive
- We all know turnovers have been an issue all season for Detroit, they had 16 for the game. The problem seems to be in pressure situations though. Detroit gave the ball away 8 times in the fourth quarter, which helped the Wizards crawl back from a 15 point deficit to take the game to the wire.
- NBA.com Highlights of the Game
- Feels funny to be fighting with Larry Brown’s Charlotte Bobcats for the last playoff spot. Twilight Zone….
- Good thing, the win moved the Pistons within percentage points of Chicago for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Now if they can just keep on winning.
- Jason Maxiell was a spark plug in Saturday nights victory. He doesn’t put up huge numbers, but the ones he does are deafening. Maxiell finished with 10 points, 7 boards, 2 blocked shot and 2 assists in 25 minutes. I am actually surprised Maxiell hasn’t pulled the rim down yet.
- The Pistons were off to a quick start Saturday, scoring 60 points by halftime and shooing over 62%. The problem was it’s had to keep up that pace and shooting percentage and it caught up with them in the fourth quarter when the couldn’t make a shot.
- Tayshaun Prince scored 19 on 8-for-13 shooting with 3 assists, 2 blocks a steal and one board. When Tayshaun’s numbers are stable, the Pistons have a good chance to win. You have to cut Prince a little slack since he’s been the only one Detroit can really count on with the injury plagued season they have had.
- Amir Johnson got his chance Saturday night with Kwame and Dyess in foul trouble early. His stat line… 0 points (he didn’t shoot), 2 assists, a steal and 3 personal fouls in 7 minutes.
- Surprisingly Antionio McDyess didn’t put up a double-double for Detroit, but it may be because his scoring to a back seat to Rip. Dyess scored 8 on 4-for-8 shooting with 11 boards, an assists, a steal and a blocked shot. His two clutch jumpers in the fourth quarter broke the Pistons out of their drought in the fourth and helped the Pistons lock this one up.
- Stuckey put up 13 with 6 assists and 2 turnovers in 31 minutes. A much more solid game for Rodney who has been struggling with all aspects of his game of late.
- With all the drama of the season aside, what truly is sad is the fact that the team that we could always count on to pull out a victory it far from what it used to be. No lead is ever safe and no one player can be counted on take over. It seems like so long ago when we used to be so confident in this team going into the fourth quarter…even if they were losing. Their killer instinct is dead.
- Sunday game, second game of a back to back, at home against the 6th seed (Sixers) in the early evening. This game is a must win with Cleveland on Tuesday.