Mike Dunleavy at the 4?

Our new starting Power Forward?

Unless Don Nelson is pulling a fast one on the media, the rest of the league, and Warriors Nation it looks like GSoM favorite Mike Dunleavy (hey, he does give us tons of great pictures! see: 44 Reasons why giving Mike Dunleavy 44 million wasn't the brightest idea Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV ) will be manning the Power Forward spot for the Dubs next season. Nellie is known for his crazy strategies, but this one just seems like it's going to be a disastrous experiment.

Don Nelson on Mike Dunleavy:

He's a natural four


So let's pretend for a second that Don Nelson is really serious about starting Mike Dunleavy at the power forward spot and playing him heavy minutes there. There's a bunch of things to be worried about:

  • Throughout his career Dunleavy has been a poor rebounder for a 6 foot 9 small forward against mostly shorter players. Plug him in at the 4 spot and he's going to get eaten alive by guys like Tim Duncan, Elton Brand, Amare Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, Dirk Nowitzski, Pau Gasol, Zach Randolph, Chris Wilcox, Shareef Abdur-Rahim/ Kenny Thomas, Kenyon Martin/ Nene, and that KG fellow we absolutely love. Rebounding was already a big problem for the Warriors last season. It's going to be even tougher with Dunleavy at the 4 spot.
  • Often times last season on offense the Warriors had 4 guys out on the perimeter (a starting forward tandem of Dunleavy and Troy Murphy will do that to you) with only Foyle down low. Now, we're looking at 5 guys hanging out on the perimeter unless Dunleavy or Murphy radically change their games.
  • Power forwards typically get you high % buckets with some semblance of a low post game. When was the last time you saw Dunleavy fight for position down low, back down a player, and get an easy bucket? It's just not part of his game, unless he's been working on it over summer.
  • Where's the love for Ike Diogu? He's a natural power forward with an amazing array of moves in the low post. Why not team him up with Murph for an inside-outside combo?

The silver lining to this is well, the unexpected. Who ever thought Atlanta Hawks cast-off Boris Diaw would be effective at the Center spot for those runin' and gunnin' Phoenix Suns? Anything can happen.

To Dunleavy's credit, he did come to camp significantly bulked up last season. He is not the skinny rookie he came into the league as. Maybe Dunleavy at the 4 is just crazy enough to work.

Do you think Dunleavy's career will be jumpstarted by Don Nelson playing him at the 4 spot?

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