Good post, I think I posted something like that in another forum a year or two ago, and it's something everyone talks about when evaluating Bargnani (I realize this post is not about him). Talking purely from a traditional sense of positions and what each position brings or is SUPPOSED TO bring, you can't count Bargnani as a starter. Even though he is, and will always be one on this team.
By my estimation we need the following starters: G/F, PF, C. JV, I guess, could be the future C. But then again 5 years ago we thought we had drafted our future starting C for years to come and then he was moved to PF and still isn't the prototypical guy you need there. But I guess I can concede that position to him for now until we know more.
So really we need SG/SF, PF. This, mind you, is for NBA starting caliber. If we're talking about a team that might make the playoffs and go past the first round, then we need starters for all positions.
My point exactly. Calling Bargnani the best player on our team isn't saying much considering our team is mostly junk.
The only issue I have is that it makes absolutely no sense for every NBA team to go for prototypical lineups, as it completely eliminates matching advantages. Plus, there would be a lot of tweeners (ie: combo guards, small/power forwards, undersized C's) that would be out of work. There's a reason teams go for bigger/smaller lineups in certain situations, as a means to change the on-court dynamic and force the opposition to make lineup changes to match you, thereby taking them out of their routine/comfort zone. That is why players who can play multiple positions are becoming more sought after, as it gives coaches many more options when looking to exploit particular matchups or even styles of play.
Rather than look at prototypical players, position-by-position, I think it makes more sense to look at roles/functions of a 5-man unit. For instance, as long as you have a good rebounding C and an above-average rebounding SF, a team could quite easily get away with a PF that under-performs at rebounding, when that player creates mismatches/advantages in other ways (ie: drawing his defender out to the perimeter).
For me, I think an ideal lineup has the following makeup:
- defensive anchor C, to always ensure effective help defense to change shots and pull down defensive boards
- two players who can penetrate on offense
- two players who can shoot 3pts at above average rate
- one post-up threat
- one lock-down perimeter defender
I don't like the idea of pigeon-holing certain roles to specific positions (aside from defensive anchor C, perhaps), but rather looking to assemble a lineup that provides each role, while providing as many opportunty for lineup mismatches and/or advantages to exploit as possible.
I'm not sure I understand how you can play 30 mins a game and be selective with a player's minutes. We are not talking abotu a player like Leandro Barbosa who allows you the benefit to be selective with his minutes. Unless you trade him, whether he plays 30 mins off the bench or as a starter, he will have more or less the same impact on the game.
Bargnani's flaws are as evident to me as they are to all of you, but I dont think he gets nearly the attention he deserves for the things he does well. With your preferred starting line up out of our current group of players, where would our offense come from? Unless we are drafting an elite small forward (not this year), there is no way I want the bulk of my offense coming from Demar & Calderon. Does anyone remember how this team played while Bargnani was out? Where are our options? Unless we can find a stud SF/SG to take over the load on offesne, Bargnani isn't going anywhere. I'm perfectly fine with him in the starting line up until we get a stud on this team.
I wouldn't consider Westbrook a "prototypical" point guard. I wouldn't consider Chalmers as one either. My point is, it wouldn't matter if your line-up consists of prototypical players or not, as long as there's a balance of enough shooting to spread the floor for your slasher, and a big that is mobile enough to guard the pick and rolls while at the same time is not a liability on the offensive end, then the team would do just fine.
You consider Ed a prototypical PF? Why? As of right now, he's kind of like a liability offensively. He can barely shoot outside of 15 feet, no threat in mid-range, and he's not the most mobile of defenders as well. He has potential, yes, but as of now, I wouldn't consider him near Bargnani's level.
I'll give you 2 cases; Bynum for the Lakers and Hibbert for Indiana.
Those 2 are what you call prototypical centres. They have their advantages but they also have their disadvantages.
Miami and OKC exposed their weakness in their series, by running them through a series of pick and rolls. The 2 are not mobile enough to hedge and recover, so they are limited to shadowing when covering screen and rolls. What did OKC and MIA do? They ran a high screen and roll, and allowed their players to beat Bynum and Hibbert in an island.
With today's rules, which tends to give the advantage to perimeter players, slashers in particular, I am not all that concerned whether my players fit the typical mold of an NBA player. For every match-up, there are strengths and weaknesses. It's about having enough balance with your 5 players on the court any way you can.
How do other teams cover Bargnani as opposed to Ed or Amir? They stick to Bargnani outside because he is a threat to score. If you have a slasher, which we don't right now, Bargnani's presence will open the floor for such player - whether he is a 1, 2 or 3.
I especially agree about the SG/SF, and I'd add a PG prospect to that.
Both Amir and Ed are around 1point/play, which is not so different than Bargnani, so it's not like they are offensive black holes, yes, their offence is much more limited than Bargnani's, but it's fairly easy to find scoring from the wing, which is what we should do, and what we should be looking for.
While not perfect, I think a starting 5 with Amir, JV, New SF, DeRozan and Calderon could work pretty well, with Bargnani, Kleiza and Bayless as core pieces coming off the bench, and a PG-in-training getting minutes when possible.
It really depends on who that new SF is. Of the options available by Trade, I guess Igoudala and Deng are the best options, wouldn't trade the 8th for either though until we know who will be available. If we get Lillard or Barnes, then no trade, otherwise I'f we're left with picking form Waiters, Rivers, Lamb, etc, then I'd rather have AI or Deng, if we could nab a lower pick back so that we scoop Jae Crowder or Will Barton, then even better, as both those guys have the chance to be better than Rivers and Lamb, probably better than Waiters too.
Personally, I'm super intrigued with Kostas Papanikolaou and Kostas Sloukas from Olympiakos.