You have to give it to coach Michael Curry in Detroit for handling the really tough Richard Hamilton and Allen Iverson situation.
That must be tough for a rookie head coach. A veteran coach would have had a hard time with that one. But MC has finally stepped up and did what needed to be done and decided to bring Rip off the bench from now on.
Now, with the rotation set, the team must begin to gel in time for a playoff run. Depth has become a huge asset. Curry, who always played hard, must get the team to play in his mold.
He has to bring that hustle out in this team. Coach has to find a way to get the guys to play harder than they have in the past few seasons.
The Pistons have to redefine themselves. This can no longer be the "too cool" bunch, that was cocky enough to turn it on and off during games and series in the past.
With three new starters on the floor this is a brand new team. They must take on the persona of their coach. Both Iverson and Rodney Stuckey benefit from pushing the tempo. The Pistons overall need to play harder as a unit.
They can no longer afford to go out there and give those sleepwalk efforts like they did against the Dallas Mavericks in the Palace. Curry should put the guys out there that will play hard! Competition for minutes is can be a positive thing.
This should be a hard-nosed, full-court-pressing, running basketball team. While undersized on defense, Iverson plays passing lanes very well. Tayshaun Prince and Amir Johnson are both long and athletic guys as well. The Pistons could really give teams trouble with an attacking style of defense.
Especially deep into the season when guys' legs get a little heavier.
Not to mention the bench is EASILY the best in the league now, with a full-speed Rip Hamilton, Jason Maxiell, and Antonio McDyess all playing hard every night.
Young Aaron Afflalo deserves minutes too, he plays both ends of the court well. Seldom used Walt Herman will go all-out when he is out there too. Kwame Brown is big and plays good stretches of basketball.
MC has enough guys that will play hard and he shouldn't hesitate to use them. By giving his guys significant minutes early in the season, everyone is comfortable on the court.
That is something the previous coaches never established in Detroit. Developing a complete team will cost you some games early on, but it makes you a better team late in the season. Those old Pistons relied too heavily on the starters all season.
With a team this deep, mediocre efforts should NOT be tolerated anymore.
If Rasheed Wallace's head isn’t in it, pull him, you got guys that will play hard. If Stuckey is turning it over too much and needs to settle down, sit him and bring in someone else. That is what we should expect out of this Curry-led team.
Hustle and hard-nosed play.
These Pistons have to hang there hat on the team-over-individual concept like the 2004 Championship squad did.
Rip, handling the bench with total class, should serve as a lesson for the rest of the guys. Minutes are hard to come by—so play hard. When you aren't in the game, root hard for your teammates. Period.
That was Michael Curry all day.