Pistons coach Michael Curry announced today that Richard Hamilton will lose his place in the starting lineup as the team tries to overcome its recent struggles.
Power forward Amir Johnson will replace him in the starting lineup most nights. Center Kwame Brown will start against especially big teams.
[...] "I feel we are better defensively and rebounding" with three forwards, Curry said. "We have struggled sometimes being able to score at the beginning of the second and fourth quarters. We think, by featuring Rip during those times, we can (change) that."
Curry said Hamilton will average about 30 minutes of playing time per game off the bench. He will decide his late-game substitution pattern on the fly.
Update: Some more thoughts on FanHouse.
Update: From Chris McCosky's blog:
Give some credit to Michael Curry, too. I think a lot of us thought he was wimping out on making a decision, hesitant to tell either Rip or Allen Iverson that they would have to come off the bench. That wasn't true, either. He was wisely collecting evidence. He wanted to have enough evidence to back his decision.
"The only way something like this could affect a player's psyche is if you just do it and not give something a chance to work," Curry said. "If we would have just made the call (after Hamilton came back from the injury), it would have looked like we were just giving up on that person. We didn't do that. We gave the small lineup a chance and it wasn't successful."
Update: Greg Johnson of MLive has comments from Rip:
"I been here for a long time, and ever since I got here playing with Chauncey (Billups) and (Tayshaun Prince), we all had to sacrifice some for the one goal, and that is to win a championship," he said. "Sometimes, you got to sacrifice. Bottom line, I want to get back to the promised land."