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Meltdown averted, belated recap not: Pistons 115, Raptors 93

This recap is as belated as Rip Hamilton deciding it was time to make a statement. Well, not that late, I guess--where has the Richard Hamilton we saw Wednesday night (35 points on 13-20 shooting) been all season? Or the last two years for that matter?

Hamilton absolutely went off and attributed it to simply wanting to make a statement [via Free Press]:

He played with conviction and confidence and he admitted that he was still irritated with speculation that he was faking an upset stomach in the Pistons’ victory Sunday night because he was upset over being benched.

"Tonight I just wanted to make a statement with all the stuff talked about," Hamilton said. "I just wanted to make a statement."

Statement noted. Statement thoroughly enjoyed. Want more statements. Would it motivate Rip to play like this the rest of the season if we all beat the pseudo "upset stomach" thing to death Red Panda? Of course he faked that belly ache.

It's hard to believe with all of Koostis' lineups this year that Hamilton and Tracy McGrady haven't shared extended minutes together more often. On Wednesday, the Pistons outscored the Raps 73-46 (!!) when they were on the floor at the same time.

McGrady chipped in his best game of the season with 17 points on 12 shots in 24 minutes and added seven rebounds, seven assists (just one turnover) and three steals. I'd say after only 29 games this season McGrady has already earned his measly contract (and probably then some).

More after the jump

  • Stuckey had a strong-to-quite-strong game with 21 points on 9-15 shooting. He only had two assists, but he made several plays that didn't show up in the box score and did not turn the ball over.
  • Ben Gordon didn't play well. He started in place of Rip, but didn't see as many minutes because Rip was so en fuego and Gordon was not. He finished with just four points on 1-7 shooting.
  • And that's kind of where the puppy dogs and ice cream runs out. Gordon won't (and shouldn't) be happy starting if he only plays 20 minutes, especially if he only sees seven shots in that time. We saw him get off to a slow start the other game and heat up late, so who knows what would've happened if he saw another 10 minutes. Now, obviously, Rip was on another level and had to be in (and he won't be this good every night--leaving more minutes & opportunities for Gordon), but there needs to be set minutes (and set shots) for a guy like Gordon. Otherwise, the lineup switch wasn't really necessary. I mean, I dunno /Kuester
  • Fill in the holes in the comments
  • Box score
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    3636 1