Paul Coro in the AZ Republic is reporting today that Matt Barnes will get the starting nod at small forward with Grant Hill coming off the bench.
I like this move a lot. In fact I like pretty much every move I have seen from Porter's team so far from holding out Nash with a mild sprain to getting his team ready to play defense before focusing on the offense.
With regard to starting Barnes over Hill, here's ten reasons why its a great move:
- With Barnes starting next to Bell you have your best defenders on the floor in the positions where most teams best scorers play. That should take some pressure off Nash and Shaq and let Amare do what he does - block shots
- Barnes is a better 3 point threat then Hill
- Barnes is almost as good as Hill finishing on the break
- Hill is a better ball handler and much better suited for a floor leader role which makes him the perfect fit to be getting minutes with rookie PG Goran Dragic. This was what Porter talked about when explaining the decision
- Barnes is a better rebounder
- Barnes is younger and needs to play. Hill is older and needs the rest
- Gives you a solid 2nd unit of Lopez, Hill, Diaw, Barbosa and Dragic. Not that all five will play together as a unit but it's not a bad looking line up. At least as good as the Bobcats 1st team
- Hill won't mind at all. He understands his role and knows that he needs to pace himself through the season. Compare Hill's role to Finely or Stackhouse. He will likely be more impactful in this role
- Barnes is better suited as a role player on the floor with Amare and Nash. He spreads the floor. Runs. Defends. And doesn't need the ball to help the team win
- Makes Rick Welts seem more honest when he told blogger Mark McLane this summer that this would be happening