So the questions have been posed towards Coach D'Antoni for well-over a week now in terms of the starting lineup and rotation, and there has been little-to-no clarity on either subject.
Other than assuming that Larry Hughes, who won't be bought out, is on the outside looking in, as well as the developing Jordan Hill, it's tough to tell what the combination will be.
Al Harrington wants to start. Heck, every player wants to start, but Al has earned it. That being said, it make make sense for him to bring it off the bench. For whatever reason, I haven't been overly impressed with when both Harrington and David Lee are on the floor together and that's something to keep an eye on.
I wouldn't play Lee at the five. It's asking far too much for him to guard bigs, and he's better off playing with a space eating 5. But is it better for the system? As I mentioned last night on the show, I truly believe that Harrington is the prime 4 in this system, but it's hard to then play Lee at the 5. But we'll see.
So here's my starting 5.
PG- Chris Duhon- No real shock here.
SG- Nate Robinson- Nate has earned the start with his unselfish, all around play. I think "energy" off the bench is overrated. Yes, Nate has defensive issues, but I'd put Nate on the PG and Duhon on the shooting guard.
SF- Wilson Chandler- Will needs space to be able to shoot and slash. He's simply not a two, he's a natural 3.
PF- David Lee- With Jeffries knocking down jumpers, Lee can play the 5 spot on offense and the 4 on defense.
C- Jared Jeffries- Sure, he's been better offensively, but can he guard other team's 5s? Not sure, but you know he'll try.
Rotation for the first 12-18 minutes-
Sub Harrington for LeeSub Douglas for DuhonSub Gallinari for ChandlerSub Milicic for Jeffries
Skinny: Milicic, Gallinari and Douglas form an excellent second team defense so the hope is twofold. First, the starting team can establish itself offensively, and second that Gallinari and Harrington are on so that they can sustain a bulk of the scoring while playing solid defense.
Then adjust from there. But I have to say, I agree with the coach that players should worry about who finishes more than who starts...
Who would you start?