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Wednesday Morning’s Layup Drill

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  • Chris Silva of the Detroit Free Press says Rip Hamilton will be ready by the opener:

    The Pistons have been cautious with Hamilton's return, and for good reason. Asked how many practices he would need to get up to speed, Hamilton deadpanned, "One."

    Coach Flip Saunders was asked the same question. "One," he said. "But he'll practice this week at some point."

  • Gilbert Arenas is not impressed by the Pistons, putting them third behind the Cavs and Bulls in this preview from SLAM. Of course, it's hard to take his opinion seriously considering he kept getting Ben Wallace, Chris Webber and Rasheed Wallace confused. He also doesn't seem all that impressed by Amir Johnson, though that's probably because (like most NBA players) he's never seen him play in person. That should change tonight; the Pistons host the Wizards, and Amir will probably play big minutes.
  • The Pistons visited Children's Hospital on Monday, and Natalie from Need4Sheed was invited to come along. Her account of the day is touching, showing a side of the players that you just don't hear about all that often:

    Now let me just say that Nazr had such a presence and way about him with the kids that I was pleasantly surprised. He not only made each child feel at ease, but he had them opening up to him like they had known him for years. He led the kids through each page of the book posing questions to them about who their hero's were, who they admired and what were good qualities to have. When they were to reluctant to answer, he did it first, and then they followed. It was like he was born to do it.

    I'll say this: although I've only interacted with Nazr a handful of times (and never in that type of setting), Natalie's description doesn't surprise me at all.

  • It's fluff, but interesting fluff: Joanne Gerstner talked to the rookies about how they're adjusting off the court. Guys like Rodney Stuckey and Arron Afflalo have the usual problems (figuring out where they're going to live, having to cook for themselves), but Cheikh Samb also has to worry about taking English classes and drivers education, not to mention dealing with immigration so his wife can move to the states.
  • I haven't played fantasy hoops in several years but I'm getting the itch -- anyone up for a DBB reader league? When/where/how can be figured out later, I'm just gaging interest ...

Update: DBB reader Brandon sent in a worthy late addition: ESPN's Chad Ford previews the Pistons. It seems to be about a week old, but it's new to me, and it's noteworthy because it's the one and only time I've seen anyone in the national media predict the Pistons to win the title this year:

[audio:http://espn-mp3-od.andomedia.com/espnpod2/espnradio/dailydish/nbadishpistons.mp3]