A few weeks ago, I wrote an article pertaining to the starting five that New Sixers Head Coach Doug Collins would use on opening night against Miami. In that article I predicted that Doug Collins would utilize the consensus pick, Jrue Holiday at the point, 2nd overall pick, Evan Turner at the two spot, Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young at the forward spots with Elton Brand in the middle.
Doug Collins tinkered with that alignment a few times in the preseason, but he has decided to go away from that lineup and throw a bit of a curve ball at the Heat. He removed two of those players from my predicted five and replaced them with Spencer Hawes and, get ready for this, Jason Kapono.
Yes, you read that correctly folks. JK72 will be in the starting five tonight in place of Evan Turner essentially. Iguodala will once again attempt to be a two guard, but this time it will not be Thad Young on the other wing.
The lineup will be Holiday, Iguodala, Kapono, Brand, and Hawes.
At first glance, this lineup has obvious defensive problems and Coach Collins has admitted that he sees them but he believes that this offense will flow best early in games. The obvious defensive problems revolve around the forwards. Can Elton Brand stick Chris Bosh, and who is Kapono suppose to guard?
Brand will indeed have his hands full trying to stick Bosh, but perhaps this slimmer, quicker EB can get the job done. Kapono on the other hand is clearly a defensive liability. It was the main reason Eddie Jordan did not play him last year, granted most of Eddie Jordan's decision did not make sense.
Anyway, one has to assume that Kapono has to guard either Dwayne Wade or Lebron James, right? Wrong; Coach Collins has decided to let Jrue Holiday stick Dwayne Wade which shouldn't be a problem, considering that Holiday is 6'4 and a shutout defender. This means that the assignment of Lebron James goes to Andre Iguodala, a task that he should be up to considering that Collins wants to see him develop into a top NBA defender. This will be a good measure to see where he is.
In this alignment, Kapono will have to stick Carlos Arroyo.
Being that this is election season, I officially want to give my endorsement for this lineup. Sure, defensively they will struggle, but there are gains on the offensive end that could outweigh the negatives.
This lineup has two pure shooters in it in Kapono and Hawes. This is something that the Sixers have not had in a lineup for years, let alone the starting five. This will allow them to spread the floor early to give driving lanes to Iguodala and Holiday and room down low for Elton Brand to work. This will allow Iguodala and Holiday to get into a rhythm early and will provide reliable shooters on the perimeter to kick the ball to.
I also like the fact that this lineup will strengthen the bench. Evan Turner still needs time to develop and he will do that off the bench. He stated that he is fine with debuting off the bench and only wants to win his first NBA game on his birthday regardless of if he starts. Thaddeus Young will also be a spark plug off the bench that will provide instant scoring and hustle.
I think a bench with Thaddeus Young, Louis Williams, Evan Turner, Andres Nocioni and Mareese Speights as the "next five" is a pretty strong bench with plenty of potential and upside.
Doug Collins was brought in to right the ship, and clearly the ship was sinking last year. Perhaps this break from the norm starting five will be exactly what the Sixers need. All we can do is wait and see.