PDA

View Full Version : The Starting Frontline



Isaac
09-28-2006, 12:23 PM
OK, so I'm sitting here at work trying to decide what our starting frontcourt should be and as of right now only Jermaine and Al are locked in as starters. As for our other options we have Jermaine at center with Danny and Al, or starting Al at small forward, Jermaine at power forward with either David or Jeff at the center position.

Positives and negatives of starting Jeff: Jeff has been a serviceable starter for us for some time now, and we know exactly what we'll get from him. Jeff will rebound the basketball and he will rebound some more. We know we're not going to get any scoring from him, and he is not a good passer at all. So basically Jeff is a specialty player. I don't think you can start a guy that only has one skill and expect to really compete. If Jeff could play better post defense and bang a little bit more, I may be in favor of him starting, but he simply doesn't do that. I don't think he's a bad defender, he's just more of a team defender then a guy who can bang bodies and wear a guy out.
The other thing is that I think guys who are exceptionally good at one thing and one thing only are better as sparks off the bench. If you start a guy like that, then when you go to your bench you will have a dropoff in the rebounding department. If we bring him off the bench, however, in relief for one of those other guys, we immediatly improve rebounding wise. I also see Jeff as a power forward MUCH more so then a center, so I think we should use him as such.

Positives and negatives of starting David: If we start Al/Jermaine/David and it works out well, this is the best case scenario. David is such a bruiser, and is such an opposite to Foster in so many ways. He isn't a great rebounder, but he definitley improved in that department last season. If we give David the reigns and tell him to get the job done I think he may thrive. At least we'll really know what we've got with him instead of having to speculate whether or not he'll break out. Another plus is that we'll be able to bring in 2 high energy guys who I think really worked well together on the floor last year in Danny and Jeff off the bench. Imagine Al and Jermaine scoring a bunch to start out the game with David bruising the other team defensively and getting some easy buckets. Then we come with Daniels Granger and Jeff off the bench. Daniels and Granger lock down the perimiter and Jeff seals off all the rebounds on the defensive side while getting Al Jermaine and Danny extra chances on the offensive side. I would really love to have that situation play out if it could work. The obvious negative is that if it doesn't work, it could REALLY bomb and we could fall hard early in games. David could get into foul trouble and we'd be short on big men real, real fast and we'd most certainly be in trouble and have problems winning any of those games when that happened. Jermaine would be forced to take pretty much the entire load defensively and we all don't want him to have to do that, ideally Jermaine is helping block shots from the weakside and he's getting the ball and making quick decisions in the post. If he's the one forced to bang and guard the other teams low post threats, that's not going to happen.

Positives and negatives of starting Danny: Even though Danny is a second year guy that is coming off of an average rookie season as far as stats go, I think we all know what we're going to get from Danny this season if he gets the minutes. I also think that is both a pro and a con of starting him. Danny is going to be our 6th man if he doesn't start, and I think he'll make an excellent 6th man because he is going to be extremely reliable and consistent and that is exactly what you need from your first guy off your bench. If the starters are struggling and you need a lift, you want to be able to point to a guy that you KNOW will go out there and get the job done. That's Danny. I don't want to see one of the guys in our frontcourt get in foul trouble or have to come out for some reason and have to point to David. I love David, and he's one of my favorite players on the team, but if he's the first guy in we'll all be holding our collective breaths that he delivers and doesn't get us into deeper ****. That's exactly why I was never completely comfortable with Fred Jones as our 6th man because he was too inconsistent. However, starting Danny definitley has its upside as well. The offensive onslaught that we'd bring to start games with Danny/Al/Jermaine could be devastating and deliver knockout punches early in games. I think this is a lineup we might want to use against teams like Chicago or Detroit who really don't have a big big body down low that would score at will against these guys. Plus if we can get an early lead on them, this is the definitley the way to go to give us an early advantage. Against Miami and Cleveland, I would not want to start these guys because Shaq or Zydrunas would either give JO a pounding that we do not want his body to go through, or they'd just score at willl on Al. I like Al as a post defender aginst guys like Antawn Jamison, Rasheed Wallace or even Dwight Howard, guys like that who don't use power moves as much, but he can't stop the bigger centers.

Personally, I think Rick needs to loosed his need for a stable starting lineup and play the matchups this season. I really this is a good problem to have that we have so many starting options, and I think he needs to take advantage of that.

sweabs
09-28-2006, 12:39 PM
We know we're not going to get any scoring from him, and he is not a good passer at all.
That is not true at all. Passing is the most under-rated part of Jeff's game. He is very good at receiving the ball near the high post and spotting guys who are cutting underneath the basket for the easy dunk/layup.

I do agree with the fact that he needs to be coming off the bench.

tinsley#11
09-28-2006, 12:41 PM
With the starting frontline I think Rick should try different things over the first month of the season. They key is not putting the three best players out there and tell them to play, you must put the best combination of three players out there to compliment one another and act as a cohesive force. (to take from the knute rockne quote)

I like the point made about starting JO/Al/Hulk. To see them punish an opponent then go out for a breather to only be replaced by Danny and Jeff so they can punish an opponent. Having that spark in the 2nd line of players is huge. We cannot build up leads just so our second unit can come in and lose them. A good balance between 1st and 2nd units is key. I'm positive rick will test many things over the first 15-20 games. Let's just hope he can find the right starting and backup cores.

Isaac
09-28-2006, 12:45 PM
That is not true at all. Passing is the most under-rated part of Jeff's game. He is very good at receiving the ball near the high post and spotting guys who are cutting underneath the basket for the easy dunk/layup.

I do agree with the fact that he needs to be coming off the bench.

You are correct about finding cutters, I was more referring to his outlet passing. He is not good at igniting a fast break after coming down with a defensive rebound.

JayRedd
09-28-2006, 01:13 PM
Danny al-Jermaine

TheDon
09-28-2006, 01:22 PM
Danny al-Jermaine


agreed hands down that's what it should be keep it that way and let them build chemistry. Jermaine Blocks Shots, Al blocks Shots, Granger Blocks Shots nobody is going to want to drive on us with that. And we all can expect Jeff to be better than any other center coming off the bench, heck maybe even his scoring would improve. I like the idea of a starting lineup something along the line of this:

PG - Tinsley
SG - Jackson
SF - Granger
PF - Harrington
C - JO

2nd Unit

PG - Sarunas
SG - Daniel/White
SF - Williams
PF - Maceo Baston
C - Dave

BillS
09-28-2006, 01:22 PM
Personally, I think Rick needs to loosed his need for a stable starting lineup and play the matchups this season. I really this is a good problem to have that we have so many starting options, and I think he needs to take advantage of that.

Yeah, because that stable starting lineup we've had for the last two seasons is certainly the source of so many problems... :rolleyes:

The number of minutes at position should vary based on matchups - unless we might want to, oh, make teams match up to us - but I think the starting lineup should change only based on players actually earning their way into it.

Isaac
09-28-2006, 02:19 PM
Yeah, because that stable starting lineup we've had for the last two seasons is certainly the source of so many problems... :rolleyes:

But that hasn't been Rick's fault we've had injuries whenever we've had guys healthy he's gone to his lineup that he's most comfortable with every time.

Hicks
09-28-2006, 04:51 PM
After reading Brunner's piece on the Power Forward position, it looks like O'Neal is against playing center, so I'm expecting Al at the 3, and Jermaine at the 4, with Jeff, sadly, at the starting 5.

pizza guy
09-28-2006, 04:53 PM
agreed hands down that's what it should be keep it that way and let them build chemistry. Jermaine Blocks Shots, Al blocks Shots, Granger Blocks Shots nobody is going to want to drive on us with that. And we all can expect Jeff to be better than any other center coming off the bench, heck maybe even his scoring would improve. I like the idea of a starting lineup something along the line of this:

PG - Tinsley
SG - Jackson
SF - Granger
PF - Harrington
C - JO

2nd Unit

PG - Sarunas
SG - Daniel/White
SF - Williams
PF - Maceo Baston
C - Dave

Where'd Jeff go?

I think Foster is much better suited to come off the bench, at PF, with Hulk at C. If Sarunas and 'Quis compliment each other and should play together, then Jeff and Hulk are the same. Where Foster is a great rebounder, a good defender, and not much else, David's biggest weaknesses are those exact things. Where David is a good low-post scorer and good shot blocker, Jeff's biggest weaknesses are those exavt things. They'd (in theory) fit very well together.

Danny al-Jermain should start. That frontline is certainly formidable, and may well be scary. They are our best players at 3, 4, and 5, and should start.

JayRedd
09-28-2006, 09:39 PM
The number of minutes at position should vary based on matchups - unless we might want to, oh, make teams match up to us - but I think the starting lineup should change only based on players actually earning their way into it.

Exactly.

Screw match-ups.....We're young, quick and athletic....Make the rest of the league adjust to us. The faster we play, the more easy buckets we get and if there is one thing that we definetley have an advantage in, it's athletic bigs that should be able to run the floor....And probably most importantly, the more you run, the more open jump shots you get in transition. And let's face it, most of our perimeter guys need some space to consistantly knock it down from 18+ feet.

Let's run.

BlueNGold
09-28-2006, 10:25 PM
We need continuity. I remember when we used to be healthy and have rotations...and played much better. Here is the rotation against the majority of teams:

Starters:
Jamaal
Jax
Granger
Al
JO

Bench:
Sarunas
Daniels
White
Foster
Harrison

These teams should face each other on a regular basis in practice.

Against bigger teams

Starters:
Jamaal
Jax
Granger
JO
Harrison

Bench:
Sarunas
Daniels
White
Al
Foster

I know some might want Al to start every game, and that may turn out to be the case, but I don't think Granger should ever play PF with Al and JO (and Baston for that matter) on the team. In any event, these combinations ensure that a post presence is always on the floor and needs to be honored.