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Should Rip Hamilton sit out Game 3?

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A lot of fans seem to think so, but Flip Saunders doesn't agree. From the Free Press:

"I hear everyone talking," Saunders said at practice Thursday. "Sit him, and all that. I didn't know we had so many doctors in Detroit that understand this."

Hamilton sprained his ankle when he came down on a Milwaukee player's foot Sunday in Game 1. He sat a few minutes on the bench but finished the game.

On Monday and Tuesday, Hamilton received treatment and did not practice. Then Wednesday in Game 2, he started and played well, but jammed the same ankle in the second quarter. Once again, he returned to finish the game.

Saunders is relying on the advice of his medical staff, who seem to think Hamilton won't risk further injury to himself by playing. But even though strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander and trainer Mike Abdenour have forgotten more things about treating sprained ankles than I've ever learned, I can't help but think the Pistons would be best off erring on the side of caution. Why risk things? His injury may not be as bad as Chauncey Billups' was a few years back, but it can't be a good sign that he's tweaked the injury in consecutive games.

Perhaps Saunders feels he owes it to Hamilton to let him play as long as he's healthy, but the way the first-round is structured with such long layoffs between games, this is a unique opportunity to rest him and get him healthy for the long haul. What do you think?

PISTONS CORNER: Flip not planning to sit hurting Rip [Detroit Free Press]