The Clippers GM Doc Rivers is faced with a new problem now. With more rotation level players than the rotation spots, Rivers has to somehow make all the talent fit together and determine the winning combination for the team.
The Clippers possess twelve rotation calibre players. All of the players are likely to see the floor during different periods this season, mostly due to possible line-up changes and injuries. However, with all the players healthy, were not sure what the line-up would look like.
Will the Clippers go for a more conventional formation with two big players playing together? Or should they play small ball with 3 – 4 guards on the floor?
What started as an idle summer gamble turned into a potential reality in the past weeks as the team started thinking about using Wes Johnson in place of Paul Pierce. And it is becoming more likely that a player who has never before been on a winning team might find himself with a championship contender.
Johnson seems capable of fitting the role of the talented athletic defender that the Clippers would like to see as their starter. However, the question is, can he actually play up to the required level? This is not clear yet. Still, you can see why Rivers will be considering this. It will probably result in the bench being basically a three man rotation of Josh Smith, Lance Stephenson, and Paul Pierce — who are sure to be in the rotation on the opening night.
In a recent interview, Rivers revealed some of his thoughts on the rotation unit, and hinted that he would lean towards playing Lance Stephenson, Jamal Crawford, Smith, Austin Rivers, and Paul Pierce. The current lineup gives the Clippers the versatility that they had lacked in the past.
According to Rivers, there was a need for multiple positions. He wanted a second unit to be guard-less. Austin, Josh, Lance, and Jamal aren’t point guards, but they all can dribble very well. And that was the main goal. They wanted four guys that could all bring the ball up. This will allow them to play as a unit, bring the ball to the center, and score points.
The Clippers would most probably play Pierce and Smith in the forward and center position. Moreover, instead of playing Pablo Prigioni at point guard, the plan seems to be to play Crawford, Stephenson, and Rivers in the backcourt.
Playing five individuals who can pass and handle the ball sounds great in theory, but we’ll have to wait and see whether it works in games when they countduring the actual game.