Posted by: Brian McCann on January 18th, 2011The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Would a change in the starting lineup change things? I don’t know, but at this point, it might be worth exploring. After yesterdays scrimmage against the Wizards (I say scrimmage because that is how the Jazz approached it), and after yet another dismal start, I think it might be time to switch things up a bit. I mean, after all, we are half way through the season now, and starting games lethargically has become so frequent that it almost looks like it is part of our game plan these days. Go down big, let the second unit come in and get things going for us, play even-keel in the third, and try and bring it home in the fourth, or, more precisely, in the last six minutes of the fourth. Yeah, yeah, I get it: it’s fun and exciting to see a big comeback, but it is also unsustainable on several levels, and it won’t work as a long-term game plan. Over the course of a season, teams figure you out, and you won’t be able to sneak up on them like that, not to mention the fact that those types of wins, when you actually do pull them out, require everything in the tank to bring home. They are emotionally taxing to say the least.
But who do you move to the bench out of the starting lineup? I don’t think it’s Paul or Al, simply because both have played fairly consistently this season. You could move Millsap to the bench behind Al, and bring Memo in at the five, but it would be gambling a bit. I feel like (outside of Deron of course) Paul has been our most consistent spark. Also, he has waited years for his opportunity to start, and I don’t know that it would be a good idea to put him back on the bench. AK is playing better than he has all season, and Raja has been shooting lights out over the last month, but I think if a move is made, it has to be one of those guys. CJ could replace either of them, but if it were to be AK, the Jazz would have a really small starting lineup on the floor. Hayward could come in for AK, but he is still a bit tentative, and I don’t know if he would give the starting unit the spark they have been so desperately lacking. The best move statistically would be to move CJ into the starting unit and Bell to the bench. You risk scoring efficiency off the bench, but if Raja could take a more aggressive role with those guys, it could work. CJ is having a career year this season, and if he could come in to start the game with any kind of consistency, it could be the shake-up this team needs. He wouldn’t command as many looks with the starters, but he would still have his opportunities.
It will be interesting to see what Jerry decides to do. The Jazz just don’t seem to start games with any kind of urgency, and while I would rather them win than start strong and fade, I just don’t think you are going to win that way in the playoffs when defenses are tighter and teams are more focused.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.