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Did smallball just die?

Of course not; as Kevin pointed out in last night's game thread, "It was never alive."

The question, though, is whether Michael Curry is ready to admit it. We won't know for sure until Rip Hamilton's groin allows him to play and gives Curry a full deck, but he certainly seems to be leaning in the direction of sanity and a balanced rotation. I wrote a long-ish piece on this at FanHouse featuring bunches of post-game comments from both Curry and Allen Iverson.

"We've looked at our lineup at different times and we've thought about different guys possibly coming off the bench, but we haven't made a decision on that," Curry said. "That's kind of a tough decision.

"But we look around and ... we look at teams that have done it and it's pretty effective. I think the Lakers with Lamar Odom it's effective for them, Kirilenko in Utah has been really effective, and same thing with Ginobili in San Antonio. So it can be effective, and whether it is any of our perimeter guys, one of them coming off the bench, maybe we'll have to look at it. But we'll just cross that bridge when we get to it."

Just when will the Pistons cross that bridge? The fact that he's openly talking about it as a possibility leads me to think it'll happen as soon as Hamilton is ready to return.

Earlier this month I asked Curry if he'd thought about benching Iverson for Stuckey (which, to be honest, seemed more plausible than simply starting three guards and playing four players out of position) and he looked at me like I was crazy. But last night? He admitted in front of a dozen reporters and a couple of television cameras that it's not only a possibility but perhaps inevitable, at least so long as defense is a priority.

Go read the whole thing, it's like having Christmas twice in one week.