Posted by: Kingsguru21 | October 4, 2009

Is Desmond Mason the new possible starter at SF?

It’s been opined here, among other places, that Francisco Garcia is the most likely player to start at SF if Tyreke Evans is the opening night starter.

Which is why this tidbit through Sam Amick’s twitter strikes me as interesting:

Random prediction based on numerous conversations today: Desmond Mason your Kings starting SF.

Now, that’s why I led in this thing with the first sentence. I can understand why Amick says what he does in his tweet; after all Mason has impressed the coaching staff. Justin Williams impressed at camp in 2006, and that exactly has meant what since? Also, I’m aware that he was cut, but that was a different team at a different time.

Here’s the thing. At times Paul Westphal has not declared anybody a starter. The best way to say that somebody like, oh I don’t know, Beno Udrih for instance, would be saying that a potential starter at the 3 would not need as much ball handling capability as Francisco Garcia. It’s pretty much a given in Westphal’s midn (well anybody who understands basketball) that Evans is not a pure PG and ball handler. You need players who can augment what he does do with ball handling, outside shooting, and hustle play. Garcia does all 3.

But, let’s assume for a moment Udrih does start. Beno can run a team, can hit the 3, and it’s everything else that will need help with Beno. (As usual.) Let’s say for a moment that Evans doesn’t beat out Beno Udrih for the top spot (unlikely but possible), this is Paul Westphal putting out overtures that it’s possible that Mason will start as long as Evans is not.

People can say whatever they want about this, but this is about player fit. Desmond Mason and Beno Udrih fit each other as players; Desmond Mason and Tyreke Evans do not. It’s really the same way, quite honestly, with Francisco Garcia and Beno Udrih. What Garcia does best is better enhanced in an unforced setting with Tyreke Evans than Beno Udrih. If every NBA team were run to a stereotype, there probably wouldn’t be that many good teams. In short, what makes the NBA unique is what drives fans crazy simultaneously. (It also keeps coaches employed, but I suppose that’s sidebar on this particular point.)

Francisco Garcia and Desmond Mason have their strengths. They also have their weaknesses (as anyone does). As Paul Westphal has said, he doesn’t have much set in stone quite yet (other than Kevin Martin will start).

I trust Sam Amick’s word as he has no reason to lie. Right now, what I question is the motive’s behind letting the feeling sink in that Desmond Mason may be the opening night starter.

If you ask me, this is Paul Westphal is trying to use the media to get through to his players that he, the head coach, not Joe or Gavin Maloof, not Tom Ziller or StR, or me, controls who starts. It would behoove every player in camp to know that. (It could also mean that I’m high on pretzels from Safeway.)

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