For all the bad blood spilled during the long-standing Bulls-Pistons rivalry, there are at least two positives from Richard Hamilton's nine seasons in Detroit.

The veteran shooting guard said commiserating with longtime teammate Chauncey Billups, who suffered a torn Achilles with the Clippers, helped both endure their injury-plagued lockout seasons.

And Hamilton credited Tayshaun Prince for introducing him to the physical therapist who convinced Hamilton last summer to incorporate stretching into his otherwise dependable offseason routine.

"I was always good with food and rest and running and stuff like that but never with stretching," Hamilton said. "I really found it helped this summer."

Along with Ray Allen, Hamilton long has been known as one of the game's most tireless offensive players. But it's impossible to run a defender off multiple screens when sidelined with injuries.

So after missing 38 of 66 games in his first season with the Bulls — 23 because of muscle-related ailments — and entering his 14th season, Hamilton knew he needed to make changes.

"I just thought I could throw the ball up and play," he said. "I never thought about being flexible, even though my dad always told me when I was younger that I had to stay limber. Once I started working on my body and understanding it from a stretching standpoint, I felt better."