Back Up PF? Back up for who? What we need is a starting PF. We already have enough back ups (Parker, Williams, Kantor) and please don't tell me that Tatum is a PF. Our need is for a starting caliber PF. We don't need any more back up PFs.
Tatum is the starting PF. Heís prototypical, modern day power forward. 6í9Ē and he can shoot the 3. Thatís what the position is now.
Well, agree to disagree. Tatum is a starter but he is not a power forward. He is a wing, one of the best wings in the entire NBA. We are forced to play one of the best wings in the NBA in the PF slot because we don't have an actual starting quality PF to play the PF slot. And he isn't 6'-9", he is listed at 6'-8", not that this is all that important.
Do people really think that we would play Tatum at PF if we actually had a starting PF to play PF? Most of last year, we started Daniel Theis at PF and he barely at best has starting level talent. I wouldn't (play Tatum at PF). I would prefer to never play Tatum at PF, to always play him at wing.
So if we play say Smart, Richardson, Brown, Tatum, and Horford, is Tatum playing PF? Why not Brown? Why not Smart? The answer is that we are playing without a PF. We are playing a PG, 3 wings, and a Big. Nothing wrong with that in certain situations but we would not play that as our core unit if we had a legit starting PF to put out there.
What many disagree with is the "compliment" of players on the court. In the past few years, the C's have played a PG, 3 wings, and a big. Of that Tatum is the largest wing. Call that a PF if you must, but what the C's are trying to do in the past is pretty common in the league unless you have an AD, KAT, KD, etc where you have such talent in the 2nd big spot to not hurt yourself on either D or O with a big player who can guard inside and out and shoot inside and out. There are few of those players currently.
Only when we had no option. Last season our starters were Theis and Thompson until we traded Theis. Before that, we played with Horford and Morris a lot (Morris is more of a swing which is fine). We default to the 3 wing line up when we need to.
I have no problem with any of these line ups; 2 bigs, 1 big/1 swing, 1 big depending on the situation but people seem to gloss over the fact that we do not have a starting caliber PF or second big or more wing-like big or whatever modern term you want to use and the team would be better for it if we did.
I would love to get a true PF. You expect that to mean a mobile player that can shoot but whose natural position or role is a big. I would also be fine with a true swing type player; a hybrid wing/big but more of a natural big than wing. Tatum is neither of these things.
Tatum is a natural wing, one of the best in the league. He is not a big, or even a modern big. Statements by Stevens and even by Ainge earlier indicate to me that they feel this way too. No roster is perfect. Every roster has some hole. Our current hole is a true staring PF.
Just to add, the last 5 years, this is who we started as bigs:
2016-17 Amir Johnson / Horford
2017-18 Horford / Baynes (mostly), Morris (some)
2018-19 Horford / Morris (mostly), Baynes (some)
2019-20 Theis / 3-wings (primary line up 1 big)
2020-21 Thompson / Theis (until we traded Theis)
So that is about 1.5 seasons with 1 big line ups and 3.5 seasons with 2 big.