DECISION ON RIP COMING
Pistons coach Michael Curry will have to confront the dilemma soon, perhaps as soon as Tuesday.
Richard Hamilton returned to practice Monday after missing the last eight games with a partial groin tear. He's still questionable to play against Charlotte Tuesday.
"My main concern with him is just if he can bounce back after not having been doing a lot of cutting and playing," Curry said. "Rip still always shoots the ball well and he was active, but he's had a while off and to come back and cut and all that, we just want to make sure he's right, because we need him for the long run."
But will he be the sixth man? That's been the speculation during Rip's absence. The team's defense and rebounding has improved dramatically with Amir Johnson as the starting power forward, rather than the small lineup Curry was using before the injury.
Allen Iverson could also be the one asked to come off the bench. Curry hinted that one of his stars will have to make the sacrifice when Hamilton is ready to play.
"When it's time, we'll talk about it (to them)," Curry said. "They know that it's out there. At the proper time, we'll sit down and we'll explain the decision that we make and we'll explain why."
Rodney Stuckey and Allen Iverson were not at practice. Stuckey was returning from a jersey-retiring ceremony at his alma mater (Eastern Washington). Iverson missed practice because of a family matter.
Walter Herrmann came to practice but was sent home because he was sick.