RHamilton_ejection

Now what do Pistons do with Rip Hamilton?

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For the past five games, Rip Hamilton has been watching his Detroit Pistons play and racking up DNP-CDs. He was being saved — Hamilton was the Pistons piece in the three-team Carmelo Anthony trade, a move that would have freed up some cap space for the Pistons. Then Mikhail Prokhorov pulled the rug out from under the deal.

So Hamilton slides back into the lineup and… not so fast.

In those five games the Pistons have played probably their best basketball of the season. They have three wins (one over Dallas) and one loss was a very close one to the Celtics where Detroit led much of the way.

That leaves Detroit with some tension and coach John Kuester in a tough spot, according to the Detroit News.

“I know he’s bothered by it,” forward Charlie Villanueva said. “It’s not Rip. It was a matter of us learning to play well. It was bad timing…”

“You’re talking about a guy that’s a tremendous competitor and he wants to (play),” Kuester said. “I’m sure he’s very proud of the way the guys have been working.

“He’s part of the Detroit Pistons. You see his work ethic and he’s trying to do things the right way. You never know when his number is going to be called.”

If at some point the ‘Melo to the Nuggets trade is revived, the Pistons will be ready. If not, they are looking at other potential trade partners, according to the report. It mentions Chicago and Utah as teams looking for a two guard, although how much either would offer for Hamilton right now is unclear.

For now Hamilton still sits because the team is playing well without him. Meanwhile the front office looks for a solution.

Stephen Curry skips pass between DeAndre Jordan’s legs, gets Zaza Pachulia a layup (video)

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Nicolas Batum wasn’t the only player to bounce a pass through an opponent’s legs last night.

Stephen Curry nutmegged DeAndre Jordan on this sweet assist to Zaza Pachulia.

Clint Capela and Montrezl Harrell take turns dunking on Julius Randle (videos)

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05:  Head Coach Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Julius Randle #30 during the second half of a 107-101 Jazz win at Staples Center on December 5, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Rough night for the Lakers, who lost 134-95 to the Rockets.

It was particularly harsh for Julius Randle, who got dunked on by Clint Capela:

And then Montrezl Harrell:

Giannis Antetokounmpo called for 10-second violation on free throw (video)

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This Giannis Antetokounmpo 10-second violation was a year in the making.

Unfortunately for the Trail Blazers, it was too little, too late. Antetokounmpo still finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, four blocks and two steals in the Bucks’ 115-107 win.

Iman Shumpert injures hand while missing open dunk (video)

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Plenty went right for the Cavaliers in their 126-94 win over the Knicks last night, but there were a few snags.

LeBron James and his teammates repeatedly failed the water-bottle challenge in the closing moments (though Kyrie Irving eventually nailed it).

Kevin Love‘s nose malfunctioned.

And Iman Shumpert injured his hand while missing an open dunk.

If Shumpert was faking as an excuse for missing, he sold it hard. Defending 4-on-5 on the other end, Cleveland ceded a 3-pointer. Then, Shumpert remained hunched over while the Cavs brought the ball up-court. It seems Shumpert might have been popping back in a dislocated finger, which jibes with him staying in the game – and shows his toughness.

But it also doesn’t erase the shame of hurting yourself while missing an open dunk.