Is There Any Hope Left for the Detroit Pistons?

Joe UnderhillCorrespondent IIIMarch 24, 2009

CLEVELAND - FEBRUARY 22:  Allen Iverson #1 of the Detroit Pistons looks on while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers on February 22, 2009 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won the game 99-78. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Is there any hope for the Detroit Pistons this year? Whether head coach Mike Curry wants to admit it or not, the Pistons fate rests with Allen Iverson.

Richard (Rip) Hamilton is back into the starting lineup (once he's healthy) which is where he needs to be. The starting unit plays better with Rip on the floor. Iverson needs to embrace coming off the bench and providing the scoring spark the Pistons are missing from their bench.

Coming off the bench might be the most productive move for Iverson statistically as well. By coming off the bench, Iverson becomes the second unit's No. 1 scoring option. Iverson will be able to dominate the ball, which is what has made him one of the best players in this era.

The second thing the pistons need to have any chance in the playoffs centers on Rasheed Wallace. Wallace needs to be fully healthy (as does Iverson), and he needs to keep his emotions in check. Wallace is an emotional player, that is fine, but he crosses the line too often and takes himself and his team out of the game with his outbursts.

The Pistons can still make a run during the playoffs if they're healthy, and their players play to their potential. When I think back to the Pistons teams of the late 80's and early 90's, they had a great scorer coming off their bench (Vinnie Johnson).

I think Iverson can be the microwave for the Pistons second unit. I think he can provide the spark which could propel Detroit to another conference final. Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the Pistons success will hinge primarily on Iverson.