If you were to ask me, I would tell you to keep TA on the bench and give J.R. a run.
With the news that Marquis Daniels’ wrist injury has become just to hard to handle, it’s clear someone has to step in and play his minutes- and more importantly Paul, Ray, and Rondo’s minutes. Coincidentally, at the same time Marquis is going down, TA is coming back but, as always, I have a few thoughts on that.
First of all, it’s not like Tony Allen can come in right away and contribute like a sixth man anyway. He’s coming off an injury (surprise) and he has shown in the past that he starts off slow in these situations.
On the flip side, J.R. had been getting more run earlier in the games lately- maybe due to Doc predicting that Daniels would be missing some time- and while in there, he’s played decently enough. I have previously wrote that J.R. is offensively ineffective, but that is a bit of a misstatement. J.R. doesn’t take bad shots and he doesn’t turn the ball over. Why? Because once he gets the ball, he passes it to another teammate and when he has an open shot he’ll pump fake, ball fake, hesitate, or pretty much do anything else to dissuade himself from taking it. It’s almost as if he’s taken everything he’s been taught to do on offense from “triple-threat position” to some of the more complex plays the C’s run and made them all part of a checklist in his head. A checklist he must complete before he does anything with the ball.
While I’m not a psychologist (although I have been known to enjoy a good armchair), I believe his stints in the D-League, the fact that he was a first round pick, the attempts to resurrect his image after his incidents at Kansas and subsequent exodus, and him playing on a team that flat out didn’t need him for two years has really hurt J.R. psyche.
This stretch the C’s will have play without Daniels, however, could be what J.R. needs to become an actual player in the league. There is no chance that J.R. can become a star, starter, or even seventh man off the bench, but could he develop into a guy that plays six minutes a game? I think so.
What Giddens’ shows in being over-disciplined on offensive, equally mirrors his play on defense. Defense, fortunately for J.R., is something that almost necessitates being overly disciplined. The only knocks against J.R.’s defensive game that I can see include his lack of playing time and he seems to be a little late when fighting over picks. The only casualty to his lack of playing time for the defensive end is chemistry. When you play competitive basketball, it’s imperative to know with whom you are playing. Giddens’ will almost have to intrinsically know when to switch and switch back on screens, who his help D is should he go for a steal, and where he needs to rotate to based on personnel. It’s obvious he’s had great mentors in guys like KG, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce and a great coach in Tom Thibodeou- still, having great people around you can only take you so far.
J.R.’s got to come the rest of the way on his own, and this might be his last shot. Daniels won’t be out forever. Bill Walker may come back and prove his effectiveness. Who knows? Tony might come back and be that player we all thought he would be (I doubt it, but I’d be the first one to kiss his feet after the things I’ve wrote about him).
What do you folks think? Pierce can’t play all those minutes. If the C’s are trying to get Daniels healthy for the rest of the season and playoffs, then shouldn’t preserving Pierce also be on their mind?
Obviously TA and Bill Walker are the other options here. The best thing about TA is that he has shown that he can bring the ball up the floor, which is unfortunately extremely valuable to this team. This is also something Walker and Giddens can’t do (at least as far as I’ve seen).
Walker is currently tearing up the D-League right now, scoring in double-figures for each of the first five games and has shown an improved three point shot. But how would his defense be on this team?