Preseason Position battles: who starts, who subs, and who just sits?
With the start of the preseason today I figure it's as good a time as any to make a thread about the preseason. Yes, my logic is impeccable. The main things to watch for are the following position battles: Sebastian Telfair vs. Rajon Rondo vs. Delonte West for PG spots (both starting as well as 2nd-string) with West having the advantage of being the incumbent but the disadvantage of coming off a minor back injury. Ryan Gomes vs. Al Jefferson for starting PF, and Theo Ratliff vs, Kendrick Perkins for starting center. There is a small chance that Tony Allen starts instead of Wally Szczerbiak but that would be for strategic purposes not related to who the overall better player is (that would be Szczerbiak)...actually, I just read a Herald story where Doc said Szczerbiak's starting, so nevermind that. Also, we have a few fringe players who are trying to make the team (Allan Ray, Kevin Pittsnogle, Akin Akingbala, Leon Powe, Michael Olowakandi, Dwayne Jones, and probably some people I've forgotten that all have either partially guaranteed or completely ungauranteed contracts). This thread will track all of their progress in the preseason with the following method: For position battles, a player gets 2 points for outplaying all others at his position, 1 point for being second best, and 0 for coming in third. For guys trying to make the roster, it's 1 point for coming in at the top 15 of all players, and 0 for not making said 15.
Delonte West: 0 points total, no games played so far
Sebastian Telfair: 2 points total, 2 games played so far.
Rajon Rondo: 4 points total, 2 games played so far.
Game 1, vs. Cleveland: In the first game Rondo shined on both ends of the floor. Telfair overcame a bad start to give a respectable performance, and Delonte West didn't play, still letting the back recover.
Game 2, Rondo brings 29 and 5, puts the game into OT, and would have won it for us if Doc played anyone that was a real big in the fourth. He alone almost makes smallball work. So keep Rondo and ditch smallball.
Ryan Gomes: 3 points total, 2 games played.
Al Jefferson: 3 points total, 2 games played.
Game 1, vs. Cleveland: No major gripes about Gomes, but the starting unit with him in it was the only one that got pounded and one of the main reasons the Cs got pounded in the first quarter was the inability to contain Drew Gooden. A regular-height pf normally wouldn't let him have such a field day. When Al came in and got to play alongside Perk the team had much-needed size so that it didn't look like a bunch of adults beating up on children at the local Y. Jefferson also brought some inside scoring presence.
Game 2: Offensively, Jefferson never got it going...not entirely his fault (he wasn't getting his post ups) but it's true. Hopefully he gets more involved on Friday. Gomes on the other hand was his normal solid, steady self.
Kendrick Perkins: 2 points, 1 game
Theo Ratliff: 0 points, 1 game
Game 1: Michael Olowakandi went Rodman in the third quarter to edge out Theo Ratliff who barely played (7 minutes) and did little while he was out there. Perk comes out on top for giving a complete game with offense, defense, and rebounding. May have to include Kandi in this category if he keeps it up.
Game 2: I'm actually not giving anyone any points for last night, in part due to all the smallball. But also...stay out of foul trouble, Perk.
Akin Akingbala: 0...nothing he did stood out in game 1. No visa in Game 2. Good luck.
Leon Powe: Another DNP.
Michael Olowakandi: 2. Looks like we're keeping him.
Allan Ray: 2.May not play when West returns but right now gets consistent minutes.
Kevin Pittsnogle: 0...another victim of pt.
Dwyane Jones: NA, DNP
Last edited by Real Men Wear Green : 10-11-2006 at 11:15 PM.
I would like to see Allan Ray make this team. I think he is a promising player and he already has experience being a good "sidekick" when he was on Villanova with Randy Foye. I think once he gets experience and gets the NBA feel, he could come off the bench and hit some shots when they double up Pierce.
I consider Ray an undrafted gem. I am still in awe at the fact that he didn't get a call on draft night. Foye was great, but Ray made him better. I think he could do the same with Pierce.
1. Bassy had better be A LOT better than what I've seen so far.
2. Rajon Rondo is a less offensive-minded Marcus Banks.
3. Perk and Al look good.
4. I don't know how Doc can preach d and then play smallball. Has there ever been a smallball lineup in NBA history that played good d?
I should add that I do like Rondo's passing and d. He just can't score. Also, there is one battle that I didn't mention but exists and will be important: Gerald Green vs. Tony Allen for Sixth Man. And so far, in this game, Tony has been alright but Gerald Green is spectacular at times.
Last edited by Real Men Wear Green : 10-10-2006 at 09:03 PM.
From a Bulls fan's perspective, you have one very talented team, but so many questions. This here is my starters for your Celtics:
PG: Delonte West. Telfair won't start...yet.
SG: Paul Pierce. He's a better 2 Guard than a small forward. But that's just my opinion.
Center: Michael Olowokandi. I actually think Ainge is going to give him one more shot, and if he resembles the same "Kandi Man" that was drafted by L.A. and played in Minnesota, Boston will be on K.P. time as Kendrick Perkins is waiting in the wings.
Small Forward: Wally Sczerbiak. Normally it would be Pierce, but Wally World would be better at his natural position.
Power Forward: Ryan Gomes. I'd like it if he started, but Al looks as if he will take it.
Bassy had a few turnovers more than I'd like to see but played well after that strange first quarter. The young bigs looked good and Gerald Green is easily our most entertaining player, but I have to say the star of the game for us was Rondo. Looks like I may have been wrong about him pre-draft...I certainly hope so.
Midway through the Raptor game I'm not liking all of Bassy's turnovers, and see not much special about his court vision...he's quick, but seems to be at his best when he attacks the basket for himself. Still prefering Rondo here.
Rajon Rondo basically blew Bassy out tonight. Bassy seems to be able to create some lay-ups for himself but doesn't bring Rondo's defense, hustle, intelligence...wow, I may have been spectacularly wrong about Rondo, more wrong than I've ever been about anyone. Hope so.