Is Ben Gordon a ticking time bomb?

Will the once-explosive shooting guard eventually give the Pistons what he gave the Chicago Bulls: the ability to carry an offense during a tight game?

The Pistons' coaching staff is waiting, especially with the demotion of Rip Hamilton to spectator.

"He has had some games where he has been outstanding," said coach John Kuester. "I'll tell you this: He's working hard on defense, on the ball especially. He's getting a little bit better there. Offensively, we know how explosive he is."

When Gordon was signed as a free agent last season he was expected to provide instant offense, whether as a starter or reserve. The fact that he didn't mind either role was expected to be a plus.

Last season he averaged 13.8 points despite injuries that limited him to 62 games. After leading the Pistons with 18 points Sunday, he has averaged 12.7 points in 27.8 minutes per game this season. He has broken 20 points nine times and 30 points twice.