05 September 2007

Fun With Rotations: 2007/2008 Starting Lineup Possibilities, Part Two

There are only three givens for this year's Magic starting lineup: Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis, and Dwight Howard will be there. After that, it's anyone's guess as to who else will be there, and which position they'll play. 3QC breaks down the possibilities.

Tuesday's entry covered the All-Firepower lineup. This one features its philosophical opposite...

The All-Defense Lineup

  1. Keyon Dooling
  2. Trevor Ariza
  3. Rashard Lewis
  4. Tony Battie
  5. Dwight Howard
This lineup surrounds the Lewis/Howard core with Dooling, Ariza, and Battie, three blue-collar defenders. It relegates Jameer to the bench, which frees him up to come into games and immediately look to score rather than look to set-up his teammates. There's no way that Jameer won't be the opening-night starter, but I'm willing to put that aside just for the sake of argument. Starting Keyon ensures that the opposition's starter will be worn down offensively. What we'd then have to bank on is that Jameer is able to run that starter ragged once he enters the game, forcing the opposition to go to its backup. In other words, this lineup trades early offense for later offense. Make of that what you will.

The major flaw in this configuration, however, is the opposite problem the All-Firepower one has: there are too few offensive weapons on the floor to start the game. Dooling has never been known for his scoring abilities nor for his ability to run an offense; Tony Battie has only one reliable offensive option: the 18-foot jumper; and Trevor Ariza feeds off of offensive rebounds and transition buckets rather than off of having plays called for him. Further, Dwight struggles with creating shots for himself, leaving Rashard as the only true playmaker. I suspect there would be plenty of standing-around going on in this lineup, which works well only when playing with elite talents like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Michael Jordan.

Basically, this lineup wouldn't be a bad one to use for small stretches, but it's not one that would be effective to start a game; it's not balanced enough. Relegating Jameer, Hedo Turkoglu, and J.J. Redick to the bench is just too risky because any of those players, when given starter's minutes, could go for 25 points on any given night.

As always, the comments section is open for discussion. There will be more entries in this series in the coming days.

1 comment:


I'm just waiting for your next line up. This is one that will never happen, besides within the flow of the game; and I think you mentioned that already.