When we made the trade for KG, there was a lot of criticism that we gutted the team in the trade and we wouldn't have a bench. Since the trade, Danny has signed Eddie House, Scot Pollard, Glen Davis, Gabe Pruitt, and James Posey to fill out the bench.
Our starting lineup should be: PG:Rajon Rondo SG: Ray Allen SF: Paul Pierce PF: Kevin Garnett C: Kendrick Perkins
Our Bench would look like this: PG: House, Pruitt (both are combo guard who may play both the 1 and 2 positions) SG: Tony Allen, Manuel SF: Posey (can also play the 2 and 4 positions), Wallace PF: Scalabrine (can also play the 3), Powe (can plsy the 5), Davis C: Pollard
House, Posey, and Scalabrine are all veteran players who know how to fit their games within a system and how to complement their teammates. House has done it with the Suns and the Nets, and Posey did it with the Heat, helping them to win a championship. Scal has taken a lot of heat about his play and I know I have given him plenty myself, but with a veteran cast, Scal may surprise us and become a solid contributor off the bench this season just as he was with the Nets before we signed him.
The true test of our bench will be how it compares with the benches of other Eastern conference contenders to see how we measure up once our starters come off the floor.
The Heat signed Smush Parker as their back up PG, Daquean Cook and Dorrell Wright will come off the bench at the shooting guard position, Devin Green will see minutes at both the 2 and 3 positions. They have Dorell Wright and Penny Hardaway at the 3 and Walker, Alexander Johnson and Wayne Simien coming off the bench at the 4. Their biggest question this season was one of their strengths. With Shaq and Zo both aging, injury and minutes at the center position will be an issue. Michael Doleac will also see some time off the bench at the center position. Their bench isn't a particularly strong one and I feel that our bench can match up to theirs especially since we signed one of their key bench defensive players out from under them.
The Nets have some size on their bench but are reeling from the Celtics signing 2 free agents they desperately wanted (House and Posey) along with losing one of their key reserves from last season to free agency (Mikki Moore). They have Marcus Williams backing up Kidd at the point and with Kidd's age and injury history, he may see some time in the starting lineup and they have rookie Robert Hite behind them. At center, they have Ilic, and Magloire. Cliff Robinson, Sean Williams and Josh Boone will be coming off the bench at PF. And at the 2 and 3, they have Nachbar, and Antoine Wright. Right now, we have a stronger bench than theirs but they aren't finished yet. But, with limited money available, I don't see them getting too much better.
The Cavs had a weak bench this past season when they won the Eastern Conference championship and they haven't done much to improve it this off season, although their name has been associated with several free agents, including Troy Hudson. Coming off the bench at PG they have Damon Jones and Daniel Gibson. House and Pruitt are comparable to this combo. At SG, they have Shannon Brown and David Wesley. At SF and PF, they have a couple of questions in that Varejao and Pavlovic still haven't been re-signed. Other than these two, who are solid back ups and who will probably be back, Newble is back up at the 3 and Marshall at the 4. They don't have a back up center as such and unless they sign someone, they will be forced to use their power forwards to back up Ilgauskas.
Of all the teams, it seems that the Bulls may have the strongest bench. Backing up Heinrich, they have Duhon, who is a quality PG. Sefolosha and rookie JamesOn Curry will back up Gordon at the 2 guard position. At small forward they have Adrian Griffin, and Viktor Khryapa. They have good depth at the PF and Center positions with Joe Smith, Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah and Aaron Gray. I may be wrong, but I see the Bulls as the team that will challenge us for the Eastern Conference title.
The Pistons have a very good starting lineup with great chemistry. They resigned Billups who will more than hold down the starting position, and coming off the bench they have Lindsey Hunter, and 2 combo guards in Afflalo and Stuckey. They have Flip Murray, Jarvis Hayes, and Stuckey and Afflalo who may spend time at both guard spots backing up at the 2. Hayes and Ronald Dupree will back up the small forward spot. McDyess, Johnson, and Maxiell will fill in at the 4. They drafted Samb but he probably won't see all that much time if he makes the team and it is more likely we will see some of their PF's splitting time at the center spot off the bench.
I don't see any of these teams, other than the Bulls, having a strong enough bench to give our bench a lot of problems. We should match up with any of these teams whether the starters or the bench is on the court. Even though we will have to use a couple of combo guards to back up at the point and we may have to play a power forward to back up at center, we aren't all that far off from the other teams that we will be battling in the East.
uh veal had something like the worst fg% and rebound rate in the nba at his position when he played for the nets. its a total myth that he's ever been solid, unless like many you consider solid to be running around yelling and pointing. and while he may be "in the right place" on D - he regularly gets owned 1 on 1 cause everyone is quicker, stronger and in better shape than him.