Here is part two of my series of Training Camp Battles: Starting Lineups Edition.
Starting SF: Ryan Gomes V.S. Corey Brewer
Gomes is an all around versatile forward who is able to post up and rebound while also being able to step out and hit the three if needed. Brewer is coming off a major knee injury and will look to establish his place in the lineup and will look to provide instant defense while also displaying his improved jump shot.
Winner: Ryan Gomes
Starting PG: Ramon Sessions V.S. Jonny Flynn
Sessions signed after a long battle of wondering where he would end up, but there is no denying his ability to pass the ball and fill up the lane quickly and draw the foul. Flynn is looking to prove that he is the right choice at point guard after a strong showing during summer league play, he can fill up the scoreboard in a hurry and also make the extra pass when needed.
Winner: Ramon Sessions
New Jersey Nets:
Starting SG: Chris Douglas Roberts V.S Courtney Lee
Lee comes over from Orlando where he was a huge contributor last season during his rookie year and will look to build on those numbers as he looks to become more aggressive on the offense end. Douglas Roberts is looking to prove that he is capable of stepping up big during his 2nd season as he has improved his outside shot and will also look to be more aggressive on offense.
Winner: Courtney Lee
Starting SF: Bobby Simmons V.S. Jarvis Hayes
Simmons showed last year that he was finally healthy and showed increased range on his jump shot while providing solid defense, Hayes played the 6th man role well and really helped the flow of the offense off the bench but will look to gain increased minutes this season by continuing to show strong hustle and offensive prowess.
Winner: Bobby Simmons
New Orleans Hornets:
Starting SF: Peja Stojakovic V.S. James Posey and Julian Wright
Stojakovic is a deadly outside shooter but overall the 82 game schedule and wear and tear is getting to his body rendering him ineffective during the playoffs. Posey is more suited as the 6th man who hustles off the bench, while Julian Wright is able to change the game with strong hustle and defense while gaining easy buckets running the floor.
Winner: Julian Wright (noted that he will start in order to rest Stojakovic’s back throughout the season, but Stojakovic will play more minutes)
Starting SG: Morris Peterson V.S. Devin Brown and Marcus Thornton
Peterson is looking to regain his form from his days in Toronto and will be a veteran presence again on this young hornets team. Devin Brown is a versatile guard who is more of a defender than an offensive weapon but can score when needed. Thornton is an exceptional shooter who is only a rookie and will look to gain substantial minutes as a spark off the bench early.
Winner: Morris Peterson
New York Knicks:
Starting Center: Darko Milicic V.S. Eddy Curry
Curry is said to be in great shape this season and looks to regain his mark as the starting center while being a dominating force in the lost post, Milicic is coming into a system where he finally will be able to display his unique blend of shooting and potential that he was drafted for in 2003.
Winner: Eddy Curry
Starting SG: Wilson Chandler V.S. Larry Hughes
Chandler is coming off a great season where he was a focal point later in the season on offense and will look to continue his rise as a leader this season. Hughes is a veteran presence who has the ability to score and defend but is more suited as a backup than a starter.
Winner: Wilson Chandler
Starting SF: Danilo Gallinari V.S. Al Harrington
Gallinari will look to prove that despite injury last season, he is an exceptional shooter and will look to develop the large potential that follows him this season. Harrington is more of a PF but with David Lee and Eddy Curry back in the fold he may be asked to slide over to SF as he is a legitimate 3pt shooter and will look to gain major minutes again this season.
Winner: Danilo Gallinari
Oklahoma City Thunder:
Starting SG: James Harden V.S. Thabo Sefolosha
Harden comes in a herald rookie who will be asked to play within himself and do many little things to help the team win while playing strong defense. Sefolosha has a year experience as a spot starter and displays ruthless hustle on the defensive side of the ball, but must improve his offense if he plans to regain his role this season.
Winner: James Harden
Starting SF: Matt Barnes V.S. Mickael Pietrus
Barnes comes in as a free agent signing and will supply the team with unlimited hustle and a spark on defense while offering plenty on the offensive end as well. Pietrus is coming off a season where he was injured but played well during the playoffs and will look to use that motivation to capture the starting job.
Winner: Matt Barnes
Starting Center: Robin Lopez V.S. Channing Frye
Lopez is a project center who is full of hustle and defense, who often does not look to score around the basket. Frye is a spot up big man who can fill it up on offense but outside of blocks does not offer much on defense. It will come down to who is a better fit beside Amare down low.
Winner: Robin Lopez
Starting PG: Steve Blake V.S. Andre Miller
Blake is last season’s starter and a very good shooter who did a fine job facilitating the offense last year. Miller is a pass first point guard who will look to gain the starting role after signing in the offseason, he is more of a penetrator on offense and has stated he views himself as the starter.
Winner: Andre Miller
Starting SF: Nicolas Batum V.S. Martell Webster and Travis Outlaw
Batum is coming off a very good rookie season and is also playing well in the euro tournament this off season and will look to regain his starting role with tough defense and an improved aggressiveness. Webster is coming off a lost season with injury, but offers instant offense and athleticism and will be hungry for a rotation spot. Outlaw is in a contract year and will look for major minutes again despite being a prime trade candidate at the deadline, he will play minutes at PF as well, using his hustle and athleticism to out hustle defenders.
Winner: Nicolas Batum (Webster will start by January in my opinion)
Starting PG: Tyreke Evans V.S. Beno Udrih and Sergio Rodriguez
Evans is by no means a pass first point guard and is better slated at SG, but with Kevin Martin there he will be auditioned at PG. Udrih is coming off a down season and will look to establish his role as the starter once again. Rodriguez is a promising player who will look to gain many rotation minutes with his strong passing skills.
Winner: Tyreke Evans(although Udrih may share minutes with Evans)
Starting SG: Marco Belinelli V.S. DeMar DeRozan
Belinelli is a sharp shooter from outside and will look to use those skills as a way to gain the starting role but must first learn to play defense as well as he provides offense. DeRozan is the much hyped rookie who is able to provide highlight reel athleticism and solid defensive play, while continuing to develop his offense.
Winner: DeMar DeRozan (will play around 18 minutes per game)
Starting SG: Mike Miller V.S. Randy Foye and Deshawn Stevenson
Mike Miller and Randy Foye come in after a trade with the T-Wolves, both provide instant offense but little on the defensive end. Miller is a spot up shooter while Foye is more of a slasher who is a combo guard and could easily slide over to PG when Arenas is out. Stevenson is the returning starter and will look to provide his trademark defense and an improve offensive arsenal in order to win the job in camp.
Winner: Randy Foye
Next in the series I will go team by team and look at each reserve position battle and pick my winner of the training camp battle. So Stay Tuned!!!!!
Also feel free to suggest any position battles in which you see a training camp battle happening.....