The “shooting guard” is probably the most self-explanatory position in the NBA…the name says it all. But there’s more than meets the eye at the 2-spot. Some guys shoot to the point where their aggression level is better fit coming off the bench. If you have other stars in the starting lineup, it’s wise to keep that unconscious scoring punch in reserve.
In New York and Los Angeles, two coaches have made the necessary call on a couple of shooting guards…deciding to bring them off of the bench in favor of more ‘vanilla’ starters.
Mike Woodson already has a scoring machine named Carmelo Anthony in the starting lineup. The guy can do it inside, outside, any side. That’s why coach has resisted the temptation to start J.R. Smith alongside Melo. Though knee injuries to Iman Shumpert and Ronnie Brewer almost forced his hand in the preseason, the regular season has brought some sort of normalcy. Brewer is back on the court, though badly out of shape, and Mike has slotted J.R. to back him up. In short, the team needs a selfless, defensive guy at the starting 2-spot more than they need another scorer. Props to ‘Woody’ for approaching Smith early on in training camp with his plans as to not lose the volatile youngster in the locker room. As a reward, he now has to decide on who to start as Amare Stoudemire recovers (for 6 weeks).
Few people have been harder on Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro than I have…and rightly so. I can’t help but see a puppet that lets Chris Paul run the show in and outside of the huddle. So, when CP3 pressured the team to sign SG Jamal Crawford this summer I was worried that Vinny would cave and start him alongside Paul in the backcourt. This would be a bad fit seeing that both guys are ball-dominating players. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan wouldn’t get a touch in the 1st quarters of games. Well, I give props where props are due…Del Negro has decided to bring Crawford off of the bench despite Chauncey Billups still recovering from achilles surgery. Is Willie Green a better SG? no…but, he isn’t a ball stopper like Jamal. ‘JC’ will fit best on this team coming off the bench, and is the early favorite to win the 2012-13 6th Man of the Year award. When or if he does, Vinny will deserve all the credit…..not “GM” Chris Paul.