Saturday , Feb , 28 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Joe Dumars and Allen Iverson Moving to the Backseat

Joe Dumars and Allen Iverson Moving to the BackseatJoe Dumars, look at the truth. Truth, look at Joe Dumars.

The truth is the Detroit Pistons’ current situation. If fans of “D-Troit Basketball” have been upset with the playoff failures of the last four years, then they are certainly not happy with what’s transpired this season. You wouldn’t sound dramatic if you were to predict the Pistons missing out on the postseason.

Maybe the rest of you think I should have some mercy, because of the Iverson-Billups trade?

I’ll have mercy if A.I. was brought in purely for a expiring contract. I will refuse to have mercy if Joe Dumars actually thought Iverson would blend in with ‘Sheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, Rip Hamilton and Stuckey.

But did Joe Dumars make the trade just to make a point? This is the man who threatened to make the big shake-up of the roster, and now after benching Rip Hamilton, it’s been announced that Allen Iverson will become a bench player once he returns from a minor injury.

It’s a reminder of Steve Kerr in a sense, in terms of indecision.

Should it be that tough to bench Iverson? Lets scrap the ego for a moment…

Let me think. Iverson, on the downside of his career, his contract expiring at the end of the season, what’s the problem? Nobody said you have to insult him, but if the season gets away, then I’d rather see Stuckey and Hamilton playing together for the remainder of the year.

The central cause for the benching of Iverson is Rodney Stuckey. In my opinion, Stuckey can be a force. Not a pure point guard, but a gifted scorer who needs schooling in decision making. But what’s shown lately is who Stuckey plays better with on the floor. Richard Hamilton’s game of using screens to get open not only helps his own scoring average, but he can make plays for his teammates.

Unlike Iverson, who no offense, doesn’t pass until all scoring options have been exhausted.

The Pistons are 4-12 in their last 16 games. Call me ignorant, but that’s not cutting it. You’re insulting a great fan base if you keep trotting out the same rotation.

Further evidence to support benching Iverson is the way the Pistons have started games. Often, Detroit can’t get on track, goes down by double digits, and spends the rest of the game trying to dig themselves out of a hole.

However, when Hamilton is on the floor, the ball moves, the ball swings from side to side, making the Pistons a much more efficient offensive team. Not to mention, Hamilton has better size, and is a overall better defensive player than Iverson.  A.I. can make noise in the passing lanes, but in general is not the greatest defender. I’m not saying Hamilton is LeBron James or Dwayne Wade, but he’s certainly a winning player deserving of a starting spot.

Another solid reason for putting Hamilton in the starting lineup is bringing Allen Iverson’s scoring ability off the bench. A.I.’s scoring punch could be more effective if he were to enter games against an opponent’s second unit, or a tired first unit. I know Allen’s ego tells him he should be a starting player, but his punch off the bench could be what the team needs.

Look, I’m not sitting here writing to gang up on Allen Iverson. When it comes to blame, I tend to direct my questions towards the general manager who doesn’t know what he’s doing with the talent acquired.

Joey D, it’s obvious. You’re trying to avoid insulting Allen Iverson. Sure, you have respect for A.I.’s name in the world of basketball. Yes, he is probably the best little man to ever play the game. But everybody gets to a point where they are not as productive as they used to be.

This is the NBA, it’s a business, and if you’re letting Mr. Iverson walk at the end of the year, then I don’t see why you can’t play the guys who will be suiting up for you next year.

Should the Pistons put Hamilton back into the starting line up? Are they better off starting A.I. for the rest of the year? Let us know down below.