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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Golden 1 Center

    New starting lineup is good

    Before last Sunday's loss to the Brooklyn Nets, Keith Smart changed up his starting lineup. A suspension to DeMarcus Cousins and a personal issue for Isaiah Thomas forced some unplanned changes prior to that game, but Smart made a bold stroke in replacing James Johnson with John Salmons at starting small forward and Thomas with Aaron Brooks at point guard. This also forced Tyreke Evans into more of a playmaker role since Brooks is a scorer and shooter, and not much of a set-up man.

    It's worked. The Kings are 2-2 with this starting lineup, and that five-man unit has been Sacramento's best by no small margin. The unit -- Salmons, Brooks, Evans, Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins -- is +31 in 68 minutes, per The next best five-man unit -- Salmons, Brooks, Travis Outlaw, Jimmer Fredette and Chuck Hayes (?!) -- is +10 in six minutes. Clearly, the new starting five is working better than anything else Smart has tossed out there.

    Salmons would appear to deserve a good portion of credit. He leads the team in plus-minus at +50 in 192 minutes. So in Salmons' 192 minutes, the Kings have outscored opponents by 50 points. In the 442 minutes in which Salmons has been on the bench, the Kings have been outscored by 113 points. Only one other player, Brooks, is in positive territory (+5). But before we get too carried away, note that Salmons had one of the worst aggregate plus-minus figures last season (-209 in 1,250 minutes).

    Salmons is featured in each of the top four player duos by plus-minus, which much of that obviously stemming from the new starting lineup's strong work. Part of it could be that Brooks and Salmons are both shooting well: the point guard is hitting 43 percent of his three-pointers, and Salmons is at 39 percent. That helps create space for DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans, who has been excellent over the last three games. While Thomas was shooting well as a starter, Johnson was certainly not. Perhaps adding that one extra outside threat and giving Evans the ball more often is the root of the resurgence.

    Whatever the case, it's worth noting that the change has worked so far. We'll see if it carries over on the road next week.

    “Maybe one of these days I won't fail ” - Clayton Kershaw following Dodgers World Series loss

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    John Salmons looks more like his old self then the guy we saw last season. James Johnson is a backup quality player who should never have been starting as long as he did.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    From what I've seen, I like Brooks in the starting lineup a lot and I like the veteran presence that Salmons has brought.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Sacramento, Ca
    Still early but Salmons has definitely been solid.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuckus View Post
    You can't spell Worley without W.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Salmons could only improve after last years nightmare of a season.

    I think the biggest improvement this year is our PF play.
    -Thompson really isn't afraid offensively, and using his body better in the paint. Playing improved defense in the paint, less fouls w/ more experience.
    -Hayes is the biggest piece of these results. Any bigman who looks to distribute instead of score is a leader. Too bad our PG's aren't as successfull as Chuck Wagon. Proud of the guy, especially after last years terrible production, and the criticism stemming from his contract. He's slowly proving the doubters wrong, and I can respect that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Both Salmons and Tyreke need to be in the lineup for this team to have any chance to win.

    ahhh... the good ole days

    watch 4free here

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