Ripping the Competition!
“I guess I got my swagger back, Mama that said I killed her man, Well I guess I got the dagger back…” –Jay Z, All I Need (2001)
It’s an understatement to say that Rip Hamilton has gotten his swagger back since returning to the starting lineup. He’s looks as hungry as he’s looked since ‘04, his cuts are more incisive than ever, and his demeanor is as equine as it’s been since Mr. Big Shot’s departure to the Mile High City.
Hamilton is, in a sense, carrying the Detroit Pistons! In last night’s win over the Orlando Magic, he chipped in 29 points and dished out a career-high 14 dimes (…CP3 numbers). Since his return back into the starting lineup the Pistons have won five of their last six games, without Allen Iverson.
Rip City took Magic guard J.J. Redick on a trip that I’m sure that he will never forget last night, including a wicked spin move (…Earl the Pearl-esque) around half court followed by a pretty feed to Walter Herrmann for the assist. He put the dagger into the Magic’s hearts when he ran Reddick through a crisp screen for a sweet mid-range jumper to push the Pistons lead to 95-90 late in the fourth quarter.
“It was a big game because with Allen (Iverson) out and Sheed not playing and Stuck(ey) getting hurt, it was gonna be a tough game for us and we just dug deep and we got the win,” Hamilton says.
With Hamilton back in the starting lineup, the Pistons look well equipped to parry the competition in the Eastern Conference.