Yo Dave, what's your best position?
I was thinking about this over the weekend, and then read this article today.
Look, I know that a successful two-game run does not warrant a full roster change or anything, but I do feel like there a a few very good reasons to move Lee to the 5. I'll present the argument after the jump, and there's a poll to look forward to as well!
And before you all go and get crazy about this, please be advised that my dream plan here would be to give Lee more time at the 5, I would still like to see Udoh get plenty of minutes at C, and we are probably morally obligated to roll out the corpse of Andris from time to time, just in case anyone wants to pick him up in exchange for a second round pick.
I honestly don't know how much of this has to do with coach Smart, but the reality is that Lee has been a defensive liability at the 4. He is consistently slower than the guys he is asked to guard, and just in general seems to be at an athletic disadvantage, yet he doesn't have the size to dominate most of these guys. Will a move to the center solve these issues, or just change them (instead of being too slow, he will be too small)?
And then there is the offensive end; where Lee has not performed as advertised. Some of this may be due to mis-use from Smart, but I think there may be something to be said for exploiting a mis-match with Lee at the 5. When he is matched up against other PFs, he has a much harder time creating (and keeping) space.
I do not have the answer here, I bet some of you have some thoughts! But the point is that we should at least try it! If basketball is a game of matchups, then why not play with the lineup a little bit more?
According to the article that I linked to above, Lee may have seen some of this coming:
It’s a little bit of a difference because in New York I was a five, so the rest of the floor was spaced. Now we have Andris down on the block, so his man will be kind of waiting there, so slipping isn’t going to be as effective.
Well...this explains a couple of things to me.
First of all, this is probably the explanation we have all been looking for in regards to the total lack of screen and rolls. Smart (this is my guess) saw some film highlights of Lee dominating by slipping screens, and is mistakenly trying to cram that play into the current team. A more astute coach would recognize the distinction here between this play working with Lee as a 5 versus a 4, but I am well beyond giving Smart the benifit of the doubt.
Secondly, Beans on the block is becoming more of a nuisance than anything else these days. With Udoh and Lee together, either can pretend to be a 4 or a 5 for a short while, allowing greater offensive and defensive flexibility.
"Psssst, Beans? Please get the hell out the way son!"
So...I'm pretty interested to see what you have to say.
Is this idea bomber or bammer?
Lee is going to be a defensive liability, I think that is a pretty safe bet. But a two-headed monster with Lee and Udoh might be just the answer we have been looking for in the frontcourt, especially if we can rotate them both between PF and C. I really do think Lee is a quality player, but the Dubs are going to need to do a better job of exploiting his strengths and protecting his weaknesses. By moving him to the 5, at least sometimes, hopefully we can gain a little bit more of an advantage.
thanks for reading, GO WARRIORS!