Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dumars, Not Curry, Key To Richard Hamilton Saga

Those thinking Allen Iverson should be coming off the bench instead of Richard Hamilton - assuming the Pistons go back to a "big" lineup - are missing the point.
The reason it makes sense for Iverson to remain in the starting lineup is because he and Rodney Stuckey have been playing so well together. Hamilton was totally out of sync when he and Iverson were the Pistons’ backcourt, and he hasn’t blended in as well with Stuckey or the three-man backcourt.
Stuckey has controlled the ball most of the time. He is the Pistons’ best player. Iverson has been effective playing off guard with him. The Pistons have benefitted greatly defensively by adding more size to their front court. It’s the bottom line.
Is it fair to Hamilton? No, given his status as an All-Star and a Piston - and because he would be losing his job because he got hurt. Should he be upset about it? Absolutely. A player of his caliber isn’t going to take not starting lightly - even if he does play a lot of minutes. The same issue would be there with Iverson.
But what’s best for the team? Right now, it’s starting the bigger lineup. Right now, it’s Amir Johnson starting and Hamilton off the bench. It could also change as time goes on.
How he handles this is a huge test for Pistons’ coach Michael Curry. It’s also for Joe Dumars. He has to back his coach.
It isn’t a matter of whether Hamilton would be upset about the sixth man role. It would be whether he played hard in the role. If put in that situation, and if he doesn’t play hard, Dumars would have no choice but to try to trade him - even considering Hamilton’s contract extension. Dumars is the one who put Curry in this situation. He can’t expect him to pull off making Hamilton feel good about going into the sixth man role.
It has to be made clear what’s best for the team is what’s best for the team. That’s comes from the top. When it comes to the Pistons basketball operations, that’s Joe Dumars, not Michael Curry.
The only hammer the Pistons have is the possibility of trading Hamilton. And it’s in Dumars hand.

Random Thoughts

- My Hall of Fame ballot this year included: Rickey Henderson, Jim Rice, Bert Blyleven, Alan Trammell, Jack Morris, Lee Smith and Andre Dawson. Just couldn’t bring myself to vote for Mark McGwire. Not sure I ever will.

- If I were to rate potential Lions head coaches at this point, I would go: 1. Jim Schwartz. 2. Ron Rivera. 3. Todd Bowles.

- The 49 shots the Red Wings surrendered during Monday’s loss at Dallas were the most since 1991. I didn’t think they could possibly play that poorly defensively. Chris Osgood played one of his better games. If he hadn’t, the Red Wings would have allowed double digits in goals.
- My Hall of Fame ballot this year included: Rickey Henderson, Jim Rice, Bert Blyleven, Alan Trammell, Jack Morris, Lee Smith and Andre Dawson. Just couldn’t bring myself to vote for Mark McGwire. Not sure I ever will.

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Blogger Larry Baker said...

As usual, I agree with the gist of your observations. But I was really appalled that Curry served up the three guard line up on Tuesday. Suddenly, it wasn't about winning, was it? Remember all the spin about accountability and discipline? The Pistons are collecting more technicals than ever and it's clear to even casual observers that Stuckey, A.I. and Rip don't complement each other as a threesome.

4:24 PM 
Anonymous John in Oxford said...

Book -

Curry is the coach and makes big money to make tough decisions. I can't help but feel like his compromise, to go back to the Hamilton/Iverson/Prince/Stuckey/Wallace lineup is going to hurt the team more than help them.

Players may not like Curry's decisions, but at the end of the day, that's his job.

I see a trade coming, Joe has to see the brewing conflict in the backcourt.

Has any NFL franchise other than the Lions held the mock press conference? For a franchise that doesn't seem to care much about the media or fans, the Lions are working overtime to show the candidates they bring to town. What's next, press conferences with guys they make take with the number 1 pick?

5:35 PM 
Blogger Joe said...

I agree with the vote for Jack Morris. No one was more dominant in pressure situations. Just think of Game 7 against Smoltz in 1991.

Also agree with Schwartz being the best option for HC. Anyone who has learned the success habits from Jeff Fisher is got to be the number 1 option. Seems strange that he is not on the short list in other searches for other teams. Could we be the only ones that see this great pedigree?

Now thinking that Schwartz is Jeff Fisher-lite has been tried by us before. Remember - Morningweg was Mariucci-lite and Marinelli was Dungy-lite? Having said that - I do think Jim Schwartz is the real deal.

5:49 PM 
Anonymous John in Oxford said...

Sorry for a double post but just read about Bradford going back to school. Did the Lions just catch a break? It would be a first!

6:48 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, how does a guy like Harold Baines get less than 6% of the vote. He had a few hundred more hits than Rice, more RBIs, close to 400 Hr and hit close to 290. He was 134 hits short of 3000.

7:25 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

I will say this it was the wings play in front of Osgood as to why they loss. Though its easy to blame him in this one I don't think u can totally.

I think Curry wussed out completely on this matter. The Pistons need to go big. Primarily cause they need a guy that can hang around the paint with guys like Iverson and Stucky. U watch when we go small and Sheed is the big you have 5 guys standing around the arch. Where as when you go big. Stucky and Iveson when they penetrate have options for easy buckets. So really I don't care who comes off the bench. iverson or stucky. I just know one of them do. You aren't going to bench Iverson. U don't bring a guy of that calibur to bench. it's only for little more then half a year. Hamilton can sacrifice. Curry needs to pull the balls out of the players hands and make the right move. In my mind his weak decision cost this team against the Bobcats.

I tell you I wouldn't say Rice don't deserve to be in the hall of fame, but if he gets in I don't see how in the hell does the hall not put a guy like Morris who also dominated a decade. Yes his ERA wasn't the best. But hell he won a ton of ball games and pitched in a ton during a 10 year span.

On the lions coach. Hard to say with this team. However, with Bradford going back I think it really favors the lions. If they play their cards right.

8:51 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...


I really enjoy your weekly Tiger Talk segments on the radio with Dan Dickerson. Great insight from you guys.

On your random thoughts of your Hall of Fame picks - I certainly don't disagree. But your comment about McGwire made me think.

What will the reaction to Roger Clemmens be when he reaches the ballot? Will you personally feel the same way you do about McGwire? And what about Ricky Henderson then? I mean, Henderson, ya gotta wonder ..

Is it simply a matter of being caught? - or really a matter of being implicated? - that will dertermine a player's HoF chances?

My other thought was on Pete Rose, who will never be inducted - unless they did it posthumously. Would you consider a vote for Rose after he passes away?

If you think of Ty Cobb - the "dirtiest bugger to ever play the game" - and he is in the HoF, shouldn't Rose be to - if only as a tribute to his contributions to the game after he passes away?

I guess this comes up every year - but I do find this question more interesting as the crimes against the game continue to change.

Personally I would hope to leave McGwire out too - as his success was due almost 100% to the roids, but vote Clemmens in on the first ballot - and I would also posthumously elect in Rose. That guy has paid enough.

12:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Larry Baker,
And he is still sticking with it. Not carrying him too far, is it?

2:31 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

John in Oxford,
That mock press conference was a first. It wasn't really a mock press conference, but the way they set it up in Allen Park was different than just meeting with the beat writers, which is what they might have normally done in that circumstance.

2:32 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

And Morris was also dominant for the Tigers during the 1984 World Series. He had a couple rough postseason outings near the end of his career, but before that he was great - especially in the World Series.

2:33 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

John in Oxford,
But Mark Sanchez is coming out. The Lions still have some decisions to make regarding the QB.

2:34 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I didn't vote for Baines, but did for Rice. It's because Rice was the dominant hitter in the American League for an extended period. Baines' numbers were spread out. But you make a good point.

2:36 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I think Clemens is going to have some problems getting in unless something happens to clear up the mess. I didn't vote for McGwire, but I would for Rose. McGwire cheated playing the game. Rose's problems came after he retired as a player. But I respect everyone's opinion on this. These are tough calls to make.

2:38 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

A lot of people feel like you do about Rice. He was a borderline Hall of Famer who just got over the border to get in.

2:39 PM 

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