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Harrison Barnes out again Friday with foot injury, could send him to sixth man role

Oct 17, 2013, 11:27 AM EST

barnes white sleeved

On paper it always seemed logical that Harrison Barnes would be the sixth man in Golden State (and he said he was good with that). You don’t pay Andre Iguodala $12.9 million to come off the bench, and do you really want to mess with the Stephen Curry/Klay Thompson backcourt?

Still, Mark Jackson was going all Pete Carroll and calling it an open competition where the best players would get the spots.

Now it looks like an injury could decide this (and force Jackson to do what we expected). Barnes will be out again on Friday when the Warriors play the Lakers in Shanghai due to a left foot inflammation.

It’s not that serious, but Jackson told Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com it could well make the decision on the rotation.

“Unfortunately [the injury] has got to play a factor because you didn’t really get to see those units together, no matter who it is. The good thing is, I know all of these guys. I envisioned when we got Andre how I would utilize all of them and that hasn’t changed.”

What Jackson has now is options to create some matchup problems if he wants. He can use Iguodala at the two, Barnes at the three (with Curry at the point) and go bigger and more defensive minded. Or he can give Thompson big minutes on shooting is what is called for.

What matters is not who starts games but who finishes them, even though that sometimes gets lost on young players. Barnes has said all the right things, but he’s a starter headed to a sixth man role and we’ll see how he adjusts.

  1. jeffcor7 - Oct 17, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    I can’t understand why they picked up Iggy. Barnes showed in the playoffs that he was ready to take a strong roll on this team and more than ready to be a starter. Why would you want to risk slowing his development by bringing in an older player who may play better defense, but isn’t going to be half the offensive player that Barnes is. I bet the Bobcats are really wishing they had drafted Barnes instead of MKG. MKG will be a ho-hum NBA player with flashes of great defense, but Barnes will be an 18-20 ppg guy who can knock down threes. I just hope he doesn’t get discouraged coming off the bench because I feel pretty sure he has never been in that role before.

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