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What's Your Starting Lineup?

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Everyone, including Doug Collins, realizes the starting lineup(s) he's trotted out there simply don't work. I'm not quite sure why he's sticking to his guns after a 1-4 start, but judging from the minute distribution, it's clear he has no faith in two of his starters. Here's the question, what would your starting five be if you were calling the shots?

Let me ask another question before I get to my starting five: Is there any chance putting Nocioni into the starting lineup (and keeping him there) is a way to keep him happy without religiously sticking to the 20 minutes/game mandate?

OK, I've got three possible lineups, each with pros and cons, here goes:

  • PG: Holiday
  • SG: Turner
  • SF: Iguodala
  • PF: Thad
  • C: Brand

Obviously, this lineup lacks bulk up front, but the tradeoff from Hawes to Thad on the glass isn't really that much of a loss. Overall, I think this is probably a better rebounding team than the starting lineup because you get Turner on the floor, who may be the team's best pure rebounder (his 22.8% defensive rebounding rate would be a good number for a center. The guy is a shooting guard.). Holiday and Turner seem to be doing a good job on the floor together. They're sort of taking turns running the point, and each seems to be getting more comfortable off the ball, not only catching and shooting, but cutting off the ball. You've got three playmakers and two finishers on the floor. Obviously, long-range shooting is lacking from this unit, and the bench is weakened a bit.

  • PG: Holiday
  • SG: Williams
  • SF: Turner
  • PF: Iguodala
  • C: Brand

Call this the merit-based lineup. Lou has been the team's best player through the first five games. This lineup is very small, but again, probably a better rebounding unit than the two starting lineups Collins has utilized so far this season. Iguodala is the second-best defensive four on this roster right now behind Brand. This lineup would be extremely fast, they could easily switch everything on the perimeter, trap, force turnovers and turn them into quick points. My problem with playing Jrue, Turner and Lou at the same time is that for some reason, Lou winds up playing the point. He dominates the ball, which isn't wise considering he's probably the fourth-best playmaker on the floor. The best scorer, but he's doing a poor job of setting up his teammates and running the offense. They'd need to find a better way to balance things on that end of the floor. Run a set with Turner or Jrue at the point, if nothing's there, then go to Lou for isolation when the shot clock is working against you. On the defensive end, Lou would probably have to be guarding the ball, which negates Jrue's strength in that area, which I don't like.

  • PG: Holiday
  • SG: Turner
  • SF: Iguodala
  • PF: Brand
  • C: Speights

The only "traditional" starting lineup, this one is extremely dependent on Speights' ability to contribute something other than scoring. If he's rebounding like he did last night, it works. If he's taking charges, or at least moving his feet to get in front of drivers, it works. If he's a zero on the defensive end, I'd rather have the added offense from either of the first two lineups than the added heft of putting Speights in there. The huge bonus of this lineup is you have a big who's capable of finishing when Jrue, Turner and Iguodala pressure the defense and find him on the inside. Brand has been great, but he isn't explosive enough to throw a dunk down in traffic when Jrue threads the needle. Speights can catch it and finish, a skillset unique to him among the bigs on the roster.

In a perfect world, I'd go with the third option, I think. Putting Lou or Thad into the starting lineup does surface a number of problems, including weakening the bench. This isn't a perfect world, though, so I think for the time being, I'd go with option number one. The bottom line is the Sixers have four guys who should be starting, no matter what. The fifth guy can really be the smallest guy on the team to the biggest, that speaks both to the lack of depth on this roster and the positional versatility of the better players.

What do you guys think? Pick one of the lineups above or come up with one of your own in the comments.

by Brian on Nov 4 2010
Tags: Andres Nocioni | Basketball | Sixers | Spencer Hawes |