I don't really want to talk about tonight's game in this thread... we played tough and lost to a really good team with a lot of experience in their house on opening night. It happens.
What interests me, though, is that we've had several games recently where the game seemed to turn while we had a relatively weak second unit playing. Tonight we played Solomon Jones, James Posey, Paul George, and TJ Ford together for an extended bit of time. That unit seems lightweight to me. I like each one of those guys personally and as basketball players, but I don't see them ever gelling into an outstanding offensive or defensive unit. So how could we fix it?
I have two suggestions. First, I'd move Dunleavy to the bench and add Rush to the starting lineup as soon as Rush gets back. I like Dunleavy, but he's really an offensive player more than a defensive one. And there simply aren't enough touches in the starting lineup for him. He's hardly ever had double-digit shot attempts this year, and he seems to be running out of gas by the end of the game. As a starter, Dunleavy's forced to defend outside of his position while also taking a backseat on offense. Recipe for disaster... let the guy run the show on the second unit while being paired with a defensive wing in Paul George.
The other big change I'd make is to promote Tyler out of the doghouse and into the backup PF role. I thought the people calling for him to start were crazy, but I think it's equally crazy that he didn't play at all tonight. If he's healthy (and supposedly he is), he'd be a great fit for this backup unit that seems to play in the late third / early fourth. That group needs a spark plug, and Tyler could be it. Let him beat up on the other team's backups. It's the perfect role for him... I don't understand the hesitation.
So you've got McRoberts/George/Dunleavy in that unit... I'd normally say that Foster should play in front of Solo, but Mr. Jones struck up some solid conversation tonight and I'd be intrigued to see if it can continue. Or you could play Josh at the backup Center role... he had by far the fewest minutes of the starters.
I'd prefer AJ as the backup PG to TJ, but TJ did a lot of good things on the court tonight so I won't scream a ton about it, especially if TPTB can move him before February.
Basically, then, I'd like to see a second unit of Solo/Tyler/Dunleavy/George/TJ. That's got some defensive prowess, some offensive punch, and is much more likely to give us energy than the crew that tried to make it happen tonight.