The problem with Hedo....

playing SG...matchups, matchups, matchups....

Sure, we all know that by moving Hedo to the SG position if JRich is traded would put a nice shooter and ball mover next to Nash and relieve some of the clog pressure in the 3 and 4 positions.  Here's 2 reasons why it would be a bad decision:

1.  The whole reason why JRich would be expendable would only be if Childress shows he is ready to be the starting SG next to Nash.  At this point, he's not ready.  The Suns system isn't one you can just jump into mid-stride and excel.  It takes precision to run the court with Nash and Hill and know where they tend to go so you know where to follow, slash, or pop out to.  Yes, Childress is a professional and should be physically ready to play as soon as the season starts, but the Greek league is not the same competition as the NBA.  So I don't think it's a stretch to believe that he has some work to do IN season as well as OUT of season.  So needless to say, it would be inappropriate to offload Richardson if Childress (who management has said is being groomed as a SG, not a SF) is not ready physically and mentally to start.

2.  So the first point is more of why Turk wouldn't be playing SG if Richardson is traded.  My main point though is that while having Turk at the 2 creates offensive mismatches in the Suns favor, like it did for Orlando, it also creates defensive mismatches in favor of the opponents.  You might point out that 'Hey, didn't Orlando make the Finals that year?' which would be a nice point to make, except that one, they made the Finals, but didn't WIN the Finals, and two, as much as I like Lopez, he's not the defensive presence that Dwight Howard is.  Dwight Howard was the difference on defense for that team (which is why he won Defensive Player of the Year).  So you can't compare the mismatches with the '09 Magic team.  But why not look at how a Hedo-SG team would matchup with a couple of different teams.


Nash Turk Hill Warrick Lopez

Fisher Bryant Artest Gasol Bynum

Billups Affalo Anthony Harrington Nene

Rondo Allen Pierce Garnett Perkins

Chalmers Wade James Bosh Anthony

Parker Ginobili Jefferson Duncan McDyess


Ok, so every post I've read about Turk playing SG has adamantly stated that he wouldn't have to guard the opposite SG.  Instead he would guard the SF and either Hill or Dudley would guard the SG.  Here's what I notice from this list (which doesn't include Chicago, OKC, Utah, or Portland.  All those teams have either swingmen with size and length that move between the 2 and 3 or have a larger PG that Nash doesn't usually guard (ie Deron Williams)):

1.  Nash doesn't guard Billups, JRich usually does.  Same with Rondo.  So Hill/Dudley would have to guard a PG, not a SG.  Dudley has a great hustle to him, but hustle will only get you so far.  If you don't have high speed and high agility, you can't guard a point guard.  As for Hill, yeah, he has fresh legs since he's pretty much missed 3 or 4 seasons.  But he's also up there in age.  He can't keep up with a PG for a full quarter, and no, they aren't going to sub Hill and Dudley back and forth all game long to keep them fresh.  It messes with the chemistry on the floor, even more so since Dudley and Hill are completely different on offense.  It would kill any rhythm before it even started.

2. Same argument for Hill and Dudley guarding the SG position.  Neither are fast enough to guard Bryant, Wade, Ginobili or Allen for the majority of the game.  While Allen is the most "shooter style" of those 2s, he has an uncanny ability to slash off a screen and get to the rim with an explosion that amazes people at his age.  But Wade, Bryant, and Ginobili are all dribble-shoot type players who also penetrate with excellent first steps.  Slower players guarding them would have to back off a step which would open them up for a jumper (Wade being the worst of those 3 at shooting the jumper).  You're probably thinking, "WAIT!  I saw Hill and Dudley guarding Kobe in the WCF last year."  Yes, you did.  But only for a time to give Richardson some rest.  They did not guard him exclusively.  And when they were guarding him, they gave him a step often, and he hit his jumper at will.  I clearly remember one of the announcers saying "Hill did everything he could on that play to stay with Bryant and keep a hand in his face, he just couldn't do it."

3. So the final argument is well, if no one else can guard the SG, why not let Turk handle it.  It comes back to the same argument of legs and speed of Turk compared to those of opponents PGs and SGs.  He has great length, but not great speed.  His feet just aren't fast enough.  (BTW, when I'm talking about speed, I'm not talking about up and down the court to stop a fast break, I'm talking more of 'quickness'...the lateral movement, backpedalling, rolling around a screen and picking up your assignment, following a first step and playing catchup, etc)

4.  One of the major points of guarding a PG or SG is to run, run, run the legs of the defensive opponent (another thing Ray Allen is very good at).  So if you've got Turk, Hill, or Dudley following a guard all over the court non stop, then they're going to get winded all the more quickly.

So no, I don't think it would be in the best interest of the Suns to allow Turk to be a SG on a consistent basis.  Are there times in the middle of the game where going big it might be usable?  Absolutely.  Especially when a second unit is out there, it is a very potent possibility to be able to over power a weaker unit.  But I just don't see it as a feasible option to start a game this way, the quickness and legs just aren't there for the players involved.  If you were talking Lebron James or Kevin Durant or Rudy Gay or even Andre Igoudala, yes, that's a clear option.

So I've been interrupted a couple times while writing this, so my train of thought has been derailed a bit.  I hope this makes sense as to why Turk as a SG hurts more than it helps.

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