According to the Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones, Keith Smart has decided on a opening night starting lineup for the Kings and will debut it Thursday in the final preseason game of the year. Smart has tried several lineups this season, with the only consistent starter being DeMarcus Cousins.
To my eyes, there seems to be three set spots and two up for grabs in the starting five. DeMarcus Cousins at Center, James Johnson at SF and Tyreke Evans at SG all seem to have their positions under control. The question marks however lie at PG and PF.
At PG, the competition is between incumbent starter Isaiah Thomas and newcomer Aaron Brooks. I'm incredibly biased here, but I say Isaiah Thomas gets the nod. Thomas is the better distributor and better defender and won't be as upset deferring to others on offense. Brooks is a scorer through and through, and a subpar defender and distributor. He could be a great sparkplug off the bench.
At PF we have Jason Thompson and rookie Thomas Robinson. Thompson brings stability and reliability, while Robinson brings athleticism, energy and potential. Long term, we want Robinson in the starting lineup. But right now I think he's still too raw to start, but will be great as first big off the bench.
It's possible there could be other spots in contention as well. To be quite honest, Marcus Thornton has outplayed Tyreke Evans this preseason. Chuck Hayes has shown up in much better shape. But we'll find out for sure Thursday. If it's not the lineup you want, don't get too upset. Smart has shown in the past that he's willing to change a lineup if it's not working out (see moving Isaiah to starter and benching Hickson last year).
So what do you think is going to be the Kings starting lineup?
Update 10/24/12 -
After practice today, Keith Smart backtracked about his starting lineup situation.Tmrw's starters may not be the opening night starters.— Jonathan Santiago (@itsjonsantiago) October 24, 2012