Apr 13, 2011, 9:53 PM EST
Mike D’Antoni looks across the court at the Boston Celtics and knows that Shaquille O’Neal is going to lineup at center come Sunday night when the playoff series opens.
“Because I think we play better with Ronny on the floor. That would be the reason: We’re a better team,” D’Antoni said.
Go ahead and shake your head at D’Antoni’s decision, but his other options are Shelden Williams and Jared Jeffries. He has no good options. If Willis Reed limps out of the tunnel he might still be D’Antoni’s best choice at this point.
According to Basketball Value, the lineup of Chauncey Billups, Landry Fields, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Turiaf was outscored in the 94 minutes it was on the floor and had a defensive rating of 107.3 (points per 100 possessions). And that is D’Antoni’s best defensive option.
Swap Jared Jeffries in for Turiaf and the defensive rating gets worse (109.8 points per 100 possessions) but the offense jumps dramatically with that unit (16 points per 100 possessions better than when Turiaf is in). Williams seems to be the worst of the three with a defensive rating of 119.8 with that unit.
Look for all three guys to get minutes at center, and look for D’Antoni to look everywhere for lineups that work for him. He’s outmatched and will be forced to try anything and everything.
But for starters he’s leaning defense, and that means Turiaf gets the start.
- Report: Knicks have ‘zero intention’ of trading Carmelo Anthony 1
- PBT Podcast for Dec. 7: Kobe’s back and for the Lakers that means…. 1
- Kobe Bryant returning Sunday against Raptors 20
- Report: Rockets stepping up efforts to move Omer Asik 13
- Rumor: Carmelo Anthony recruiting Rajon Rondo to come to New York in 2015 24
- LeBron says Wade is “getting that Kobe deal” in next contract. Should he? (64)
- Dwight Howard frustrated with Rockets’ effort in recent losses (47)
- Michael Beasley finding a role, groove in Miami (44)
- The Extra Pass: Our awards at the quarter pole, plus Monday recaps (42)
- Kobe Bryant dunks, looks good in Lakers practice; Friday return possible (39)