Pistons prez Joe Dumars backs coach

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons haven't completely abandoned ship -- not even close, according to team president Joe Dumars.

The Pistons, three spots out and 5½ games removed from a playoff berth as the NBA stood entering Monday night's games, are still officially pushing for the postseason despite their position in the standings -- and a seemingly fractured core.

And coach John Kuester still has the "full support" of Dumars, he said Monday in a news release.

"We've had a long and proud history of being a first class organization that handles its business the right way," Dumars said in the statement. "We expect everyone that represents the Detroit Pistons to do so in a first class manner and that will continue as we move forward."

Guard Richard Hamilton, one of several players who missed at least part of a shootaround before a game at Philadelphia on Friday, said he met with Kuester recently in an effort to repair their relationship.

The coaching staff used only six players in the game, sticking with those who were at the full shootaround.

Hamilton has played only once since Jan. 10. He was benched for the latter part of January, and although he played Feb. 5 in Milwaukee, scoring 15 points, he's been out since then because of what the team has said is a groin injury.

Hamilton wouldn't specify when he and Kuester spoke. He took passes from the coach while shooting at the end of practice Monday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.