Keith Smart continues to show me that he has no clue how to handle this roster. To name just a few head scratchers, subbing Tyreke out first in the opener after he played what has been his best quarter all season, then doing the same with IT just a few nights later. Put in Salmons for his season debut in the 4th quarter with the game up for grabs vs the Spurs, leave in Brooks for 2 OTs when he was cold and IT clearly brings more flow to a dead offense. Give Outlaw a DNP-CD after he played his best game as a King, what kind of messages are these sending to players. Stop telling us its a "process" and do your job, help your team win by putting them in the right position to be successful, and stop playing grab ass with opposing players every time you get a chance.
Lets start with the rotations, THE BIGS
Playing 4 bigs, we need to clearly define these roles. I completely agree with the previous post that Cuz and Hayes should be starting and JT and TRob should play together off the bench, it makes too much sense for Smart, so dont hold your breath. Hayes can defend the primary big and keep Cousins out of foul trouble. The 2nd unit of bigs works better than the current backups. TRob and Hayes are too undersized to play together and neither can post up at all, JT brings offense to the 2nd unit as well.
Guards and Wings,
Keith Smart has botched this rotation so horribly its amazing. First off, Evans and JJ can not play together. These are the worst shooting wings in the NBA and makes everything more difficult for IT and Cuz and everyone else with men collapsed in the paint. The only exception should be in TE is running the point with JJ at the 3 and either MT or Jimmer at the 2, but I still dont like that much better, and root for 0 minutes with TE and JJ together. So how do we do that? This brings me to the 2nd flaw of the guard rotation.
MT off the bench??!!?
Hes in a shooting slump, but still, you dont put your best, sometimes only, perimeter scorer on the bench and watch your 1st team squirm until he enters the game, and then again in the 3rd quarter. Kieth Smart thinks this is a cute little gimmick he has seen other teams do, and also doesnt want to bench TE. But heres a newsflash Keith, most teams that do this with "instant offense" have a good starting lineup. Harden would not be 6th man without Durant/Westbrook, hes not in Houston, Manu comes off the bench cause they have championships and Duncan/Parker, Crawford this year in LAC has Paul/Griffin, O*^@ in championship years had K*&% and Ga*$^, and on and on, get it, we dont have All-Stars starting, give it up Smart, idiot.
The Brooks signing made no sense,
Pretty simple fix, give Jimmer his minutes. I dont mind Brooks as a player, loved what he did vs LAL a few years back in the playoffs, I think the series when Yao got hurt, he was torching Mr Hankie, but hes not right for this team. IT earned the starters role and everyone outside of I guess Petrie and Smart clearly saw that IT was our PG of the future, or at least earned a shot at it for a few years. Im a huge Jimmer supporter and rooted for Jimmer to outplay IT last year, it didnt happen, and if somebody rooting for IT to get outplayed can see hes our starting PG, why cant Petrie or Smart? Brooks is a score first PG, (horrible fit for this team dead last in Ast%), and IT and Jimmer both are more willing passers and 2nd year players that need minutes. This one is on Petrie, but Smart doesnt need to play him, Im hoping for a JJ Hickson type dump or trade.
So that all leads to,
Thomas, Thornton, JJ starting. Space the floor, IT gets more control of the ball. JJ defends the teams top wing scorer, I think he can be a even better defender than he has shown so far and cant wait to see him lock up vs Durant, Carmelo, LBJ, Pierce etc., but he has to come to terms thats hes not a good offensive player, he needs to stop putting up bricks and turning the ball over in transition or a clogged lane, or hes only hurting the team --- 2nd unit, Jimmer, Evans, Outlaw. Jimmer and Evans are combo guards, and both work best as combo guards, much like years back with Udrih. Jimmer cant handle the ball well enough yet to play PG vs quick defenders and he cant guard big 2s, so he cant play with IT or AB, so Evans is the obvious best fit. Outlaw gets my backup SF minutes, he looks improved and healthy and he has legit SF size to defend and rebound. Salmons is a joke, and looks out of shape this year, cut him, and did I mention what a great teammate he is.
I dont see any other way around it. The fact is he is a RFA, and some team with money and a high opinion of TE is gonna give him big money. My guess is 4+ years and 10+ million. And no chance that Petrie or the Maloofs match that. So who would trade for him? It would have to be a team that plans to match a RFA offer sheet and if they are smart/smartish, let him dominate the ball. Off the ball hes no more than a liability, and as a previous post suggested Tony Allen, with more offensive game, BUT far less shot discipline, and a far less polished defensive game. Whos gonna give TE 10+ million and let him dominate the ball? Not sure, my guess, maybe Orlando, Dallas, Utah, Detroit, who knows? But I dont see getting much in return for a RFA, maybe a draft pick, maybe a role player, maybe just a salary dump (my favorite option with a team willing to take Salmons or at least AB).
Has anybody else noticed how GSW seems to have got the upper hand drafting so close to us over and over and also now with the coach. Just an observation I had when we played them, first off they pawned off Smart and upgraded with Mark Jackson. Then look at recent drafts. Evans 4th leaving Curry 7th. Some wanted Rubio, Flynn, I wanted Curry, we took Evans. Cousins 5th was our big win (hopefully) to Udoh (nobody else there and possible bust, but did help land Bogut) Jimmer and Klay Thompson, jury is still out, but most people see Klay as 10 year starter, outside of me, people question if Jimmer can get to that role. TRob and Barnes. Obviously way too early to tell, but Barnes is talented starter from day 1 in a HUGE need position at SF, Hopefully TRob is a beast, but getting 4th big minutes right now for a bad team.
If the goal is to make the playoffs, lets say 8th seed, what do we do?? With our bigs, does it all come down to Cousins making the leap to star, is JT a starter or even 3rd big on a playoff team? Does it all depend on TRob becoming a beast, OR do we need a new starter next to Cousins? At the guards/wings, do we have the players on this roster to get the 8th seed if they all make a leap forward? Most would still argue that we dont have a SF anywhere near the level needed for a playoff team, BUT is JJ enough if he becomes an ELITE defender who accepts his role on O not to hurt the team and the other guards step up and carry the offense with Cuz? Is IT a playoff caliber PG or is even Thornton a playoff caliber 2 guard? If its me I think a "Glue Guy" SF, who defends and hits 3s without having to hold the ball on O would be ideal, Loul Deng, Batum, Grant Hill, Casspi or Donte Greene in a fantasy world. Assuming Tyreke is the big trade chip, can he bring that back...
OKO FOR GM
(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)