With Mason gone, try going big
The loss of Desmond Mason leaves a hole in the Thunder lineup, with no easy solution. The Thunder plays all kinds of minutes without Mason, but it’s mostly situational: both point guards (Russell Westbrook and Earl Watson), rookie wing man Kyle Weaver, etc.
What to do at the start of a game is not so discernible. Here’s what I would try, beginning tonight in Utah. Go back to the big lineup of early season.
Put Nenad Krstic at center, play Nick Collison at power forward, move Jeff Green to small forward and Kevin Durant to shooting guard.
I know Durant has blossomed since moving to small forward, but that move coincided with the switch in coaches. My boss, sports editor Mike Sherman, pointed out that Durant struggled at shooting guard in P.J. Carlesimo’s listless offense. Maybe it wasn’t the position; maybe it was the offense.
Any way, in this season of discovery and experimentation, no reason not to find out what Durant can do back at shooting guard in the much more efficient Scott Brooks offense.
Durant will struggle on defense against some guards, but Green always is available to defend certain opponents. It’s a mix and match process, anyway, when you have hybrid players like Green, Durant and Westbrook.
And it’s time Krstic got in the lineup, anyway, don’t you think? He’s the center of the future. Why not get him in there and get going.
Mason is the kind of player where when he’s playing, you wonder what he brings. Then when he’s gone, you go, oh my, what are we going to do without him? He’s a defense, energy, effort guy, and the Thunder will miss him.
But use Mason’s absence to find out what other players can do, and the injury could be beneficial.
* Two-point guard lineup. I don’t like it, because that makes Watson the point, and that impedes Westbrook’s development.
* Weaver slotted into Mason’s void. This is the most seamless and, frankly, probably the best way to win the most games. Weaver is a good defender, a decent shooter and somewhat of a sparkplug. He has to take better care of the ball, but the Thunder wouldn’t miss many beats with Weaver in the lineup.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 16614OKC Central: Architectural "Worsts"
- 14171Oklahoma baseball: Joe Simpson 'thrilled' that Sunny Golloway left OU
- 13556Oklahoma storms: Profile of Life: Megan and Case Futrell
- 10806Classen School of Advanced Studies valedictorian disappears while hiking with family in Ecuador
- 9444Was Special Treatment Given in Oklahoma Vice Mayor DUI Traffic Stop?
- 7747Live blog: "The Voice" Season 4 live finale
- 7539Two teacher programs at Oklahoma universities called ineffective
- 7474'Firehouse' in Oklahoma City's Deep Deuce is set to become new home
- 7103Red meat might be delicious, but not as nutritious
- 7093Train engineer's vision problems led to deadly Oklahoma wreck, NTSB rules
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients