Nellie said it was possible in his post-draft interviews about Curry. Larry Riley said he thought it was likely, especially come December. A few players on the roster have said, as far as they’ve heard, the Warriors want rookie guard Stephen Curry to be the starting point guard.
Whether or not he can, is this a good idea at all? I am having a hard time seeing how this can work.
If Curry starts, whether in the opener or closer to December, doesn’t that mean Monta Ellis is the shooting guard? Isn’t that the same Monta Ellis who couldn’t guard shooting guards, so Baron Davis and Jamal Crawford had to?
Doesn’t that move Stephen Jackson back to small forward, and the Azubuike/Maggette tandem back to power forward, giving the Warriors the very small lineup Nelson said the Warriors’ weren’t good at anymore?
Or, if Anthony Randolph is etched in as the PF, doesn’t that leave Azubuike and Maggette sharing the 10 minutes behind Jackson at SF and the 15-18 behind Randolph at PF?
I agree that Curry will be a better true PG than Ellis. And the Warriors would be better offensively with Curry’s passing skills and outside shot at the point. But I am not convinced it’s enough of an advantage to offset the defensive disadvantages.
PG Monta Ellis
SG Stephen Jackson
SF Kelenna Azubuike
PF Anthony Randolph
C Andris Biedrins
Option A: The Warriors are bigger, better on the boards and better defensively. The bench rotation works out nicely, with Curry backing up Ellis, Morrow backing up Jackson, Maggette backing up Azubuike, Wright backing up Randolph and Turiaf backing up Biedrins.
PG Stephen Curry
SG Monta Ellis
SF Stephen Jackson
PF Anthony Randolph (he has to start over Buike, right?)
C Andris Biedrins
Option B: This lineup is quicker. It is also deeper on the bench, with Azubuike and Maggette (which may be a bad thing for the likes of Anthony Morrow or Brandan Wright). But this lineup takes away from the structure and order that Option A provides. One of the biggest complaints players have had is that they don’t know when and where they are being used on any given night. Option B is more of the same.
There is another school of thought, that I don’t totally disagree with: it doesn’t matter anyway. The Warriors aren’t going to make the playoffs. This is a(nother) rebuilding year, so they might as well get Curry experience at the position he will eventually play.
One benefit to Option B, in that regard, is that it allows the Warriors to see soon if Curry is the player they think he is – while showcasing Monta at his strongest position. I agree with Nellie that Monta’s best chance at being a big-time player is at point guard UNLESS he is playing alongside a rare, big PG who can defend SGs. Curry is not that, so these two can’t share a backcourt and expect for the team to be any good, IMHO. I think it will eventually be either/or with these two. Option B allows you to find out sooner rather than later.
If Monta balls at SG, it may make his sizable contract more attractive on the trade market, which could come in handy next summer. If he plays PG and struggles, which is possible, that would more than likely hurt his value. Considering the Warriors may very well finish under .500 anyway, why not go with Option B and get some questions answered?
If Curry can’t handle the PG spot at this level, you can always switch to Option A and see if Phoenix is still interested in adding Curry to that Amare deal come February.
As you can see, I am torn.