Well first off heres my starting 5
Baron - Gordon - Thornton - Griffin - Kaman
6th Man - Camby
7th Man - Telfair
8-12 - situational fillers
In my honest mother humping opinion I think we need to play it smart. We have to do this by observing our big men closely to watch their health. When we play stinky teams like Minnesota, the Knicks etc. we need to really think about starting DeAndre at Center and heres why.
We can easily pull him out after a few minutes if he looks awful, I doubt Sac-Town, Memphis etc will pull up by 15 or more on us if hes on the floor for 5 minutes. These low par teams should be easy contests for us. Thus, Kaman and Camby can be limited in their play to rest them and save them for more important teams, like LA, SA, CLE etc. The big men on teams like Minny, Mil, OKC etc. may not be SUPER but they will allow Jordan to play at a higher level than him going 1-1 with Shaq or Duncan.
We should also consider limiting Baron during these potential easy win situations as well. Start him but keep Telfair on the ready so we can sub him in if a lead starts to get to 7 or more.
Theres nothing more that I would like to see than us go into the playoffs and shock the NBA community. However, in order to get that far we need healthy players. Thornton, Gordon, Jordan, Telfair and Griffin can play hefty minutes. They are young and can take more a heavy work load and a beating. Camby, Kaman and Baron cannot. Dunleavy needs to be intelligent enough to realize when a game is lost or is in the bag to allow these 3 key components to our season to get needed rest and lower game time play when it calls for it.
And also by allowing Jordan to start against OKC and other poop teams, it gives him more experience and a bigger chance of tapping more of that potential we know is there. After all, I plan on seeing him in the starting 5 in a couple of years, I just don't think we are going to keep Kaman, and if we do Jordan will be our 6th man. This kid needs to be developed, what better way than for him to get big minutes against these crappy teams that are oyung like us, that will and should become better teams in the future.
If a trade happens, or if Ricky can do something with himself I think Al needs to be benched and used as our primary 6th man. Al brings explosiveness and more depth to the bench, quality depth. If Ricky can start and give us a good 25 minutes and not stink, bringing Kaman, Camby or Griffin, plus Telfair, Al, Novak and Jordan off the bench would be devastating for most teams. It'd be hard to cover a team with a lightning fast PG, 2 big men that can play hard defense, a 3pt threat that is one of the NBAs top 5 in that category and Al who can run all over the place, hit jumpers, draw fouls, drive the lane etc. It'd be like another starting 5 out there when we rest everyone else.
But most importantly if Kaman, Camby or Baron has any sort of minor injury, even if its a sprained toe, bench them for the game. I don't want to see these guys out for 2-4 weeks with some BS injury because Dunleavy wanted to desperately keep a game against the losers of Sacramento close. Take the loss, we aren't winning a championship here. It's more important to keep these 3 up than it is anything else. They are our best teachers and the real tri pod of this team. Keep them healthy, keep them happy, and keep them teaching our youngsters.
And I say during blowout games the only youngster that should remain on the floor is DeAndre. His minutes will be the hardest to come by. I am confident Al, Blake and Eric can remain healthy however in blowout games whether we are winning or losing its of vital importance to give our roster fillers a chance to play. This is in case we have an emergency injury or need them for a special situation down the road. Allowing these potential specialists some decent playing time from time to time will help their morale and keep them less cold if their name gets called to check in the game.
So heres to a great season and heres to hoping DeAndre has a great season. Go Clipps