FanPost

small ball y'all

I commented on another post that I hoped Kevin Seraphin would be Randy Wittman's choice to fill most of Nenê's minutes; however, that statement presumed the context of a traditional lineup. It seems Wittman is adverse to the concept, but am I alone in thinking that smaller lineups should be used during the Big Brazilian's absence?

I think we can all agree that our defense is going to decline regardless of what lineup we trot out. Nenê may not be an elite defender, but he's strong, smart, and surprisingly quick. Gortat offers some rim protection but he's liable to be a total letdown on any given defensive possession. Vesely's gone (which also feels like a missed opportunity with Professor Andre Miller, PhD running the bench now). Seraphin and Booker, well, you know...

Our roster provides a lot of intriguing small ball options. Maybe the most obvious one is Wall-Beal-Webster-Ariza-Gortat. With that lineup, you give up plenty of size, but the dividends on offense are significant. Think about how this opens the paint for Wall on the iso or Beal (and his greatly improved handle) on the p-n-r. At minimum, I think we should open games with this lineup with the idea of running and gunning to an early lead.

I know we're coming down the stretch and that making the playoffs is important--to the players, Wittman, EG, Ted, and of course us fans--but I still say that this is the time to experiment. Whether Wittman is willing and able to get creative is a big question (no pun intended); there's nothing in his track record that suggests he will, but that won't stop me from dreaming.

By the way, we've heard plenty of complaints re: Drew Gooden, most of which were not unfounded. I know he hasn't even hit the hardwood, and that when he does, it will be only for spot minutes... but it's just difficult for me to give EG the benefit of the doubt given what's happened the past 6 or 7 years. The fact that Gooden is a Dan Fegan client obviously raises suspicions of laziness on Grunfeld's part. (Or something more sinister--I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I saw a comment yesterday by someone who wondered whether Fegan "has dirt" on Grunfeld and/or Ted.)

In any case, it does seem like there were better (and fairly obvious) options available. Why not take out a flier on Antawn Jamison, Earl Clark, or Ivan Johnson? All three of these players were hired by GMs who thought their teams were playoff-bound. I'm definitely biased with Jamison, but it would be a great story and I don't think it's a stretch to say he's got as much left as Drew Gooden. Earl Clark is a stretch 4 who can't shoot right now, but at least he would fulfill a role in demand; he's young and might benefit from a change of scenery--not to belabor the point, but Cleveland's locker room is... well, Luol Deng said it. Ivan Johnson can defend and he's younger and much more athletic than Gooden.

Finally, it may be a moot point, but March 1 is the last day that someone can be signed and make a playoff roster. If Gooden's 10-day contract is fully guaranteed, then does that mean he was our last chance to add someone for the playoffs? Anyone who knows about this, please comment...

Looking forward to tonight's game--perhaps it will reveal some promising lineups...

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.

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