Harrington as 6th man?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:40 pm
Interesting:


Harrington could be benched

Janny Hu, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, October 15, 2007


Don't put any money on Al Harrington being in the starting lineup on Opening Night. Same goes for Kelenna Azubuike.

Just when it seemed like the team was easing into a playing rotation, coach Don Nelson reshuffled his deck Monday. The capricious coach says he is planning on experimenting with some new lineups during the regular season.

And at the top of the list is using Harrington - whom Nelson repeatedly called his best player in training camp - as his sixth man.

"That'd be like a perfect position for him," Nelson said before Monday's exhibition against Lithuanian club Zalgiris Kaunas. "Bring him off the bench where he can just be the gunslinger. He has the ability to stretch defenses and he's really aggressive."

Harrington started at both power forward and center for the Warriors last season before landing on the bench during their first-round playoff series against Dallas. That's when Nelson first began thinking of him in a sixth-man role, and he finally approached Harrington about the potential move Monday.

As with all of Nelson's proclamations, however, nothing is guaranteed. But Harrington said he is ready to embrace whatever role his coach puts him in.

"If that's what we need for me to be productive, for me to get the best out of the team, I'm with it. I've been a firecracker off the bench before," Harrington said. "I know I can flourish in this role - just give me the opportunity and I can go out and do whatever it takes."

Harrington was the runner-up for the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2003-04 when he backed up forwards Ron Artest and Jermaine O'Neal in Indiana. It's likely that he would be in a similar situation for the Warriors as the first big man off the bench, whether it's at the forward spots or at center.

If that happens, Nelson said that Matt Barnes, Mickael Pietrus and Austin Croshere were all candidates to start at power forward.

"He's never, since I've known (him), had a bad idea," Barnes said of Nelson. "Our job is just to play. With me and Al - if it's him starting, me starting, neither of us starting, both of us starting - whenever we go out there, just be ready."

"It's an experiment," Harrington added. "It might not work, but I think I'm going to make it work."

That's also how Nelson is approaching his ever-changing guard rotation. Before training camp, he essentially proclaimed rookie Marco Belinelli as his starting shooting guard and wanted Monta Ellis to focus on being the backup point guard.

But Kelenna Azubuike emerged as the top player with Ellis hurt and Belinelli going through the typical rookie struggles.

Now, Nelson is saying that Azubuike might come off the bench despite his impressive training camp, that Ellis likely will play alongside Baron Davis in the backcourt to maximize efficiency, and that he probably overhyped Belinelli's immediate impact.

"What I'm going to do is what I think is best to help us win, not necessarily who won the job," Nelson said. "Right now, hands down, Azubuike is my best two-guard, but Monta hasn't had a chance to participate too much. ...

"He's got another seven to 10 days before he plays probably, so he's virtually going to miss all of the preseason. And it's hard to teach a guy during the regular season. So we'll just have to live with whatever that situation is."

Briefly: Guard Troy Hudson joined the infirmary with a sore left groin and is day-to-day. Center Andris Biedrins (sprained big toe) did some drill work and forward Stephane Lasme (sprained ankle) hopes to practice today. ... Rookie Kosta Perovic made his debut and started at center. ... The Warriors will hold an open practice at Oracle Arena on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.

E-mail Janny Hu at jhu@sfchronicle.com.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:09 am
I always thought that Monta would start at SG. Nelson talks alot of crap and only on opening night will the truth be known. I don't think Harrington should come off the bench, he is firepower to start the game with. I do think BWright should get a fair bit of court time actually, not just because he was traded for JRich, but because I do think his defense and decent ability offensively can be an asset and the team is in need of good bigs
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:27 am
im hoping buike starts, to add the fire power to the starting lineup, but monta wouldnt be much different. the reason i want buike to start over monta is cuz buike is more patient with the ball and monta isnt, which is why monta turns it over so much.

harrington coming off the bench isnt a bad idea. after seeing the game today, it seems that he owns when he is the go-to warrior on the court. sometimes it seemed like he was running the point, and still got them boards. its almost like he's more of a leader off the bench which is why he does better. and he could still get starter quality minutes a la manu.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:04 am
I've been saying since we traded for him that Al would be the perfect 6th man for any team. It's a move I'd love to see. Al has it all to be a stud from the bench.


On the other side...

coltraning wrote:If that happens, Nelson said that Matt Barnes, Mickael Pietrus and Austin Croshere were all candidates to start at power forward.


... can we say "worst starting PF of the NBA"?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:46 am
Barnes should early last season that he can play well at PF
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:47 am
Yeah, I wouldn't mind Barnes starting at PF (especially in a fast-break running lineup). But PLEASE, no Pietrus or Croshere at PF.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:29 pm
How about this?

Baron/Hudson
Azu/Monta/Pietrus
Jackson/Belinelli/Pietrus
Barnes/Harrington/Wright
Biedrins/Wright/POB

Worth a thought. :dontknow:
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:21 pm
JayPat wrote:How about this?

Baron/Hudson
Azu/Monta/Pietrus
Jackson/Belinelli/Pietrus
Barnes/Harrington/Wright
Biedrins/Wright/POB

Worth a thought. :dontknow:


I'm guessing that's how Nelson's envisioning his starting lineup for opening night as of now. Although remember Jackson is out the first seven games so we'll probably see Harrington start at PF and Barnes at SF for the first seven. Then I think the experiment should begin. And if you notice, Harrington usually excels in a lineup where he's the most talented... 32 said that.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:46 pm
xbaywarrior wrote:
JayPat wrote:How about this?

Baron/Hudson
Azu/Monta/Pietrus
Jackson/Belinelli/Pietrus
Barnes/Harrington/Wright
Biedrins/Wright/POB

Worth a thought. :dontknow:


I'm guessing that's how Nelson's envisioning his starting lineup for opening night as of now. Although remember Jackson is out the first seven games so we'll probably see Harrington start at PF and Barnes at SF for the first seven. Then I think the experiment should begin. And if you notice, Harrington usually excels in a lineup where he's the most talented... 32 said that.


Yeah, I agree. That seems like the main reason Harrington has been considered for 6th man.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:04 am
JayPat wrote:How about this?

Baron/Hudson
Azu/Monta/Pietrus
Jackson/Belinelli/Pietrus
Barnes/Harrington/Wright
Biedrins/Wright/POB

Worth a thought. :dontknow:


I don't like Barnes as our starting PF. I like him coming from the bench. Also, in that lineup, Monta would probably play both PG and SG (also from the bench), which would reduce Hudson's minutes.

Other than that, it looks good. We're set at 4 positions, and if Wright pans out (he's not ready, but is already showing encouraging signs), we'll have a very good starting lineup in a couple of years.

I like Al more coming from the bench, but I'd still start him this year. I'm just not confident on Barnes as a starter.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:12 am
Not sure having a ten million bench PF is a good thing
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:17 am
migya wrote:Not sure having a ten million bench PF is a good thing


That's not the way to look at the situation. It's more like this process:

1.- We've got a 10 million player.

2.- He's better coming from the bench.

3.- The better he plays, the more he benefits the team. It also increses his value around the league.

4.- If we can't trade hiim for someone that can help more, we better use him to his strengths.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:25 am
TMC wrote:
migya wrote:Not sure having a ten million bench PF is a good thing


That's not the way to look at the situation. It's more like this process:

1.- We've got a 10 million player.

2.- He's better coming from the bench.

3.- The better he plays, the more he benefits the team. It also increses his value around the league.

4.- If we can't trade hiim for someone that can help more, we better use him to his strengths.



With the team likely resigning Monta and Biedrins to big money next offseason, no good having a highly paid player (2nd highest on the team actually) not a starter and risk having the guy that starts in his place, likely Barnes, ask for alot more money next offseason. The only thing that will likely happen in that situation is that Barnes leaves and Harrington goes back to starting PF. Better to keep things as they are and try to keep Barnes for about the same money he is getting now
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:12 am
Al Harrington is going to start. Don Nelson is doing his typical motivation jargin. You don't bring $11 million/year off the bench.

Besides, Nelson has been raving all preseason about how Harrington has been his best player. Why would Nellie bench his "best player"? Its a typical scheme to motivate the players.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:51 am
Nelly will def mix up his lineups, and the players know it. But Im guessing Al will start, and will also be used at the 5 as well.
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