We have two SFs, and both are talented enough to play 30 mpg. We ought to seriously consider novel ways to utilize the talent we have at this position.
Paul Pierce is a bad ass mf who can take over a game in flash when he wants to- he is one of the best scorers in the league when he is getting after it. He has a tendency to coast at times but easily switches into assassin-mode whenever it is necessary. He's a 35 year old who's played over 1000 games and has become increasingly injury-prone as he's aged.
Well, I don't know if we should really say he's injury prone. Aside from 2006-2007 season, in which he missed 35 games, he missed 40 games in 13 other seasons and in recent years, he sat out a couple before the play-offs to get rest.
It sounds pretty durable to me.
Jeff Green is not the (future HOF) player Paul is, but certainly has starter-level talent. He has elite athleticism and a very solid all-around game. If we are to make a run at Banner 18, we need him to fully utilize his talent. The main issue so far is his inability to make his presence felt in short stints off the bench. Jeff plays best when he lets the game come to him (Doc said that Jeff failed to convert on the 2 occasions we ran a play for him in his breakout performance), so we need to find a way to give him more opportunities within the natural flow of the game.
Green has the physical tools to be a starter in NBA, but he hasn't shown the mental dedication and attachment needed in his entire career, be it in Oklahoma or Boston.
The real point of the natural flow thing is when you're getting your points off those plays, that means you're in that game mentally, not just physically.
When it's just a couple of isolations run for you, you play them through and in the next possession, just stand aside, knowing that it's not going to be your turn.
Now, I know isolations for Paul Pierce are frequently played, but there is a difference. Firstly, he's the go-to player of this team. And secondly, you have got to limit the number of players going off for isolations. You can only afford one or two players to play them, and for this team, they're Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
To me, all of this points to one solution- Jeff Green starts and Pierce becomes the best 6th man in the league. Paul's cold-blooded-killer attitude is perfect for that role, and Jeff's nice-guy demeanor is more fitting for life in the starting lineup. Additionally, Pierce absolutely needs to be 100% for us to have a shot in the playoffs- last night was a good reminder of that- and bringing him off the bench significantly reduces the likelihood of injury.
If Paul comes off the bench, that means a lessened job for the likes of James or Durant on the defensive end, because Green isn't going to force it as much as Paul does.
On the other hand, there aren't going to be many bench players existing who can deal with Paul's offensive tricks.
Manu Ginobili is arguably the most creative and versatile player in the Spurs roster and plays off the bench.
So, I wouldn't think the captain would feel ashamed to come off the bench, but for that to happen, Jeff Green needs to provide more good games to make Doc believe that he could handle the starting spot.