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  • inthepaint wrote: View Post

    Well, the answer to the bold here is Birch. He's a not really a "typical starter" he played backup C his whole career. He was starting at the end of last season when we were tanking because, Baynes. Looked good there by comparison, but I think my cousin Steve would've looked good there too if compared to Baynes, as did Gillespie.

    Barnes has to earn his keep for sure, but it's extremely unlikely he won't be a better player than Birch right out of the gates. They're actually the same height but Barnes has a longer wingspan, may still be growing, and can do all the other guard stuff Birch can't.

    The 5 best players on this team are Fred-Trent-OG-Siakam-Barnes. If they don't waste time with positional dogmas and egos/pecking-order BS (which I don't think would be an issue with Birch to begin with), that's who you start and close with. Your 5 best players.
    I'm not a huge fan of playing small against a lineup that is big. At least not for an extended part of the game (like over 25 minutes). OG and Barnes can guard the 5 but they aren't rim protectors. They have good/strong bases so can guard someone big. Like how Wallace and Rodman guarded Shaq back in the day. But it will also completely take them away from the perimeter which is where I'd like to see them play defense more.

    Embiid scored 45 and had 16 boards against Achiuawa last season (when Bam was on Covid protocol). I'd shudder to think what would happen if he played against OG or Barnes all game instead.

    But yeah, against the right team (like say Brooklyn), that 5 should be on the court more. But against most other teams, and in the regular season where energy has to be maintained for 82 games, we will need a lot of minutes from Birch and Achiuawa.

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    • planetmars wrote: View Post

      It's just roster composition. So who's coming off the bench? Who's not playing in crunch time? Trent Jr? FVV? Birch? Achiuawa? The three guys can play at the same time, but it means at least one typical starter isn't going to start in the near future or be out there in crunch time.

      You go with the 5 that gives you a best chance to win. But if one of our crew has to come off the bench and be a 6th man type of player, well that guy might want to get traded. Egos have to be managed at the end of the day.


      Well the obvious answer is Trent Jr, and if not it's because he was traded. Which is already in the plans, so no worries there.

      Scottie is the longer term starter. He'll take Trent's job, and when he does so depends on how fast he becomes consistently better than him.
      twitter.com/dhackett1565

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      • planetmars wrote: View Post

        I'm not a huge fan of playing small against a lineup that is big. At least not for an extended part of the game (like over 25 minutes). OG and Barnes can guard the 5 but they aren't rim protectors. They have good/strong bases so can guard someone big. Like how Wallace and Rodman guarded Shaq back in the day. But it will also completely take them away from the perimeter which is where I'd like to see them play defense more.

        Embiid scored 45 and had 16 boards against Achiuawa last season (when Bam was on Covid protocol). I'd shudder to think what would happen if he played against OG or Barnes all game instead.

        But yeah, against the right team (like say Brooklyn), that 5 should be on the court more. But against most other teams, and in the regular season where energy has to be maintained for 82 games, we will need a lot of minutes from Birch and Achiuawa.
        Experience suggests that Embiid would likely struggle more against OG than against Birch.

        But obviously over the course of an 82 game season you don't want to have any of those guys shouldering heavy C minutes consistently. That's why Birch is here. But closing lineups and into the playoffs? You'll see a lot more of the "small" (not really that small) ball being used regardless of the opponent, if Scottie comes along quickly.

        That's why I said 2-4 or 3-5. They'll use them as the frontcourt in many matchups, and in some where you need a C they'll use them on the wings. Lots of development needed from Scottie before that's a possibility but that's the vision.

        I'd agree that running the 3 forwards in the frontcourt to get Trent on the court is non-ideal except in some small matchups. Gimme Fred with OG-Scottie-Pascal-Precious, that's the stuff.
        twitter.com/dhackett1565

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        • planetmars wrote: View Post

          I'm not a huge fan of playing small against a lineup that is big. At least not for an extended part of the game (like over 25 minutes). OG and Barnes can guard the 5 but they aren't rim protectors. They have good/strong bases so can guard someone big. Like how Wallace and Rodman guarded Shaq back in the day. But it will also completely take them away from the perimeter which is where I'd like to see them play defense more.

          Embiid scored 45 and had 16 boards against Achiuawa last season (when Bam was on Covid protocol). I'd shudder to think what would happen if he played against OG or Barnes all game instead.

          But yeah, against the right team (like say Brooklyn), that 5 should be on the court more. But against most other teams, and in the regular season where energy has to be maintained for 82 games, we will need a lot of minutes from Birch and Achiuawa.
          The thing is, how 'bigger' is Birch compared to Barnes at the end of the day? They're the same height, roughly same weight (Barnes 6 pounds lighter but that's because he's barely 20 years old), and Barnes actually has a larger wingspan. It's not that Birch is this 7'0 260lb player like Jokic or Gasol. As a rebounder he's alright but nothing special. He's not this scary rim protector/shot blocker either (0.6 blocks per game), so I'm not sure there's this big advantage there (enough to offset all the other stuff Barnes would bring)

          The other thing I often wonder is who are all these scary big bruiser C's that will win a title by posting up smaller guys the whole game. The only two are Embiid and Jokic, but a lot of the damage they do is through skill, feel for the game and nose for the basket (especially Jokic), rather than 1997 brute force. That's why they're MVP caliber players. Unless some team brings back 2019 Gasol, Enbiid will get his and unfortunately there's little even tough defenders can do there, let alone Birch (or to your point, Achiuwa, who's the same height and weight as Paul George but at some point someone decided he's a Centre).

          In the end though, I think you're right and they will start Birch until if and when he plays himself out of that position. Everyone touts the "positionless" horn, but there's still a lot of positional dogma, and like you said on the other post, "egos to manage". So Barnes as a rookie will likely start off the bench, despite being one of our top 5 players, and will have to work his way up (which in the end has its advantages too I suppose)
          2019 NBA Champions. Glad to have doubted the doubters.

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          • inthepaint wrote: View Post

            The thing is, how 'bigger' is Birch compared to Barnes at the end of the day? They're the same height, roughly same weight (Barnes 6 pounds lighter but that's because he's barely 20 years old), and Barnes actually has a larger wingspan. It's not that Birch is this 7'0 260lb player like Jokic or Gasol. As a rebounder he's alright but nothing special. He's not this scary rim protector/shot blocker either (0.6 blocks per game), so I'm not sure there's this big advantage there (enough to offset all the other stuff Barnes would bring)

            The other thing I often wonder is who are all these scary big bruiser C's that will win a title by posting up smaller guys the whole game. The only two are Embiid and Jokic, but a lot of the damage they do is through skill, feel for the game and nose for the basket (especially Jokic), rather than 1997 brute force. That's why they're MVP caliber players. Unless some team brings back 2019 Gasol, Enbiid will get his and unfortunately there's little even tough defenders can do there, let alone Birch (or to your point, Achiuwa, who's the same height and weight as Paul George but at some point someone decided he's a Centre).

            In the end though, I think you're right and they will start Birch until if and when he plays himself out of that position. Everyone touts the "positionless" horn, but there's still a lot of positional dogma, and like you said on the other post, "egos to manage". So Barnes as a rookie will likely start off the bench, despite being one of our top 5 players, and will have to work his way up (which in the end has its advantages too I suppose)
            Barnes shouldn't be playing center minutes for the most part.

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            • A front line of OG, Siakam, and Barnes has enough length to make up the difference of a traditional front court. My guess is OG guards the 5 because of experience and strength. I agree it’s not ideal to play out of position though.

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              • The center position will rotate against bigger opponents simply to preserve the energy of the starters. You can't have a smaller guy going against a bigger guy with a high energy level all game and also expect high levels of energy on offense. Having tall, long, high energy perimeter defenders able to switch mitigates a lot of the problems with passes out to perimeter shooters. And having help conscious, tall, long, high energy guys along the baseline helps against guys settling into the corners or cutting to the dunker spot.

                I suspect that is the plan. It will definitely take some time to shake out the wrinkles, but it could work.

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                • DanH wrote: View Post

                  Well the obvious answer is Trent Jr, and if not it's because he was traded. Which is already in the plans, so no worries there.

                  Scottie is the longer term starter. He'll take Trent's job, and when he does so depends on how fast he becomes consistently better than him.
                  I'm curious about your thought process here. Why do you think that they have plans on trading Trent Jr. before even seeing how good he can be? All signs are pointing towards him having a breakout year I thought? A line up of FVV, Barnes, OG, Siakam, Khem/Precious seems too lacking in perimeter scoring and a little too much traffic in the painted area for driving lanes.

                  I would have thought Barnes could more naturally replace (eventually) what OG brings to the table or the other option being Siakam is used to bring in a more natural first scoring option and Barnes or OG slides into the PF spot and the other SF.

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                  • TrueTorontoFan wrote: View Post

                    Barnes shouldn't be playing center minutes for the most part.
                    Why not? The reality is Siakam, OG, Barnes and Birch all have very similar height, weight and wingspan (Birch actually has the shortest wingspan of these four, at 7'1"). The difference is the first 3 are much quicker and also more versatile players (defending of multiple positions, shooting, ball handing, off-ball mobility, playmaking etc).

                    When you get right down to it, there’s basically only 2 “reasons" to start Birch:

                    1. Positional dogma and hierarchy: Birch is the only “classic C’ we have, he’s the older vet, that’s his spot.
                    2. Some irrational fear of the Embiid-type boogieman we’re gonna run into once-in-a-blue-moon, who will somehow beat us by 20 by backing-down everyone on the post like 1998, unless there’s a classic C like birch guarding him (as if Birch himself was built like a Gasol or a JV, which he certainly isn’t)

                    Unless Barnes is a bust and somehow can’t play in the nba, our best frontcourt players are Barnes, OG and Siakam. That’s it. Start your best players. There are four major advantages there:

                    1. The frontcourt is all switchable and all these guys can guard 1 through 5 if needed
                    2. You could rotate all 3 guarding the opposing C, which would not only preserve them physically, but also alternate different defensive styles at your opponent, which typically throws them off
                    3. You're expediting the development of your lottery pick, giving him reps with the starters (when you play with better players your game improves more rapidly and you tend to be more impactful on the court because the attention of the opposing defence is divided - which is also good for player confidence)
                    4. Lastly (and that's the most important one): When you start and play your best players more often, your team does better.
                    2019 NBA Champions. Glad to have doubted the doubters.

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                    • LJ2 wrote: View Post

                      I'm curious about your thought process here. Why do you think that they have plans on trading Trent Jr. before even seeing how good he can be? All signs are pointing towards him having a breakout year I thought? A line up of FVV, Barnes, OG, Siakam, Khem/Precious seems too lacking in perimeter scoring and a little too much traffic in the painted area for driving lanes.

                      I would have thought Barnes could more naturally replace (eventually) what OG brings to the table or the other option being Siakam is used to bring in a more natural first scoring option and Barnes or OG slides into the PF spot and the other SF.
                      His contract is not a "we want to keep him" contract, IMO. But hey, their whole thing is flexibility, I'm sure they'd be pleased as punch if he turned out great and worth whatever cost he demands in FA in a couple years.

                      That lineup would certainly depend on Khem continuing to build out his 3 point shooting. But similarly, there would need to be an absolute leap from Trent defensively to make up the difference on that end - he has tools but was not exactly impressive on that end, even compared to Norm.

                      As for Barnes sliding into OG's spot, they have completely different offensive games (one could even describe them as complementary). OG is a shooter and occasional slasher, with little in way of playmaking chops just yet. Barnes is pure slasher and playmaker, with no sign of a shot yet. Using either in the same role as the other is a long way off.
                      twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                      • DanH wrote: View Post

                        His contract is not a "we want to keep him" contract, IMO. But hey, their whole thing is flexibility, I'm sure they'd be pleased as punch if he turned out great and worth whatever cost he demands in FA in a couple years.

                        That lineup would certainly depend on Khem continuing to build out his 3 point shooting. But similarly, there would need to be an absolute leap from Trent defensively to make up the difference on that end - he has tools but was not exactly impressive on that end, even compared to Norm.

                        As for Barnes sliding into OG's spot, they have completely different offensive games (one could even describe them as complementary). OG is a shooter and occasional slasher, with little in way of playmaking chops just yet. Barnes is pure slasher and playmaker, with no sign of a shot yet. Using either in the same role as the other is a long way off.
                        The comparison for me between OG and Barnes on offense is just spot up shooting is normally the first thing players work on so if all goes well that is what Barnes will learn to do first. Obviously Barnes projects to give you a bunch of other things on offense which OG doesn't.

                        OG just seems like such an after thought on offense it's hard to picture him as being complimentary on that end of the floor. He's not a volume shooter like what Trent Jr. projects to be for example. Could be a big year for OG too, if his usage increases.

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                        • LJ2 wrote: View Post

                          The comparison for me between OG and Barnes on offense is just spot up shooting is normally the first thing players work on so if all goes well that is what Barnes will learn to do first. Obviously Barnes projects to give you a bunch of other things on offense which OG doesn't.

                          OG just seems like such an after thought on offense it's hard to picture him as being complimentary on that end of the floor. He's not a volume shooter like what Trent Jr. projects to be for example. Could be a big year for OG too, if his usage increases.
                          OG finished the last 2 months of the season as a 22-23% USG guy, while maintaining above-average efficiency (113 ORTG / 61% TS%). All he needs to do is sustain that level. Getting to 20% USG and above, without cratering in efficiency, is basically pulling your weight on offense and OG achieved that in a small sample that's trending in the right direction.

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                          • Only one thing matters: We The Champs.

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                            • MixxAOR wrote: View Post
                              Quick as a cat. Does all this then on the other end locks down the best or second best opposing player and grabs 8 or 9 boards for ya. Got All-NBA again written all over it.
                              2019 NBA Champions. Glad to have doubted the doubters.

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                              • golden wrote: View Post

                                OG finished the last 2 months of the season as a 22-23% USG guy, while maintaining above-average efficiency (113 ORTG / 61% TS%). All he needs to do is sustain that level. Getting to 20% USG and above, without cratering in efficiency, is basically pulling your weight on offense and OG achieved that in a small sample that's trending in the right direction.
                                Didn't realize he had such a high usage, but having said that the last two months of this past season probably is not the best place to draw conclusions from. Tanking, starters in an out (felt like mostly out) of the line up, etc.

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