Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mr. 6th Man

I like this idea!

Jerry Sloan is contemplating having Andrei Kirilenko as the team's 6th Man this year. Against LA, in the preseason Tuesday night, Kirilenko played the '6th Man' role for the Jazz, and tonight, he may come off the bench again. The DesNews is reporting this potential change, as a possible permanent fixture.

Most of us know that the '6th Man' role is an important position to provide the 2nd unit with energy and scoring. Matt Harpring has fulfilled this role in the past remarkably well. Here are the reasons why I like having AK47 come off the bench:

1. Kirilenko loves the opportunity to be "the Man". In past seasons, he's languished over the fact that he doesn't get enough touches. As the captain of the 2nd unit, he'll be the focal point of our offense.

2. The 1st Unit is already loaded. Let's be honest, with a starting unit of Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur, AK, and Ronnie Brewer, Kirilenko can only be considered the 4th offensive option from that star-studded contingent. Deron, Carlos and Memo are sufficient offensive talents to carry the 1st unit to high scoring outputs. Now, with AK coming off the bench, he doesn't have to acquiesce to our better Jazz scorers.

3. The 2nd unit becomes tough! Millsap, Korver, AK47, Ronnie Price and Harpring/Almond give this unit defense, scoring, toughness, rebounding and shooting. This group could soon be considered one of the best 2nd units in the NBA. Kirilenko could be allowed to play multiple positions with this group from power forward, to small forward or center.

4. Energy off the bench. Bench players ought to specialize in this department, giving the starters a 'breather' while boosting the team's lead. Kirilenko specializes in energy!

5. It doesn't mean that Kirilenko won't finish the game. Andrei could easily come off the bench and finish off games by playing with the starting unit. He'd be fresh and energetic, playing parts of the 3rd and most of the 4th quarter. This could potentially benefit the Jazz immensely.

The only downside of playing AK47 as the 6th Man is (in my estimation):

A 6th Man will be getting paid more than any one of our starters, netting MAX-money dollars to come off the bench. That's an expensive 6th Man!


Orlando said...

The big advantage of having him come off the bench is defense.

The main disadvantage is the starting five are now relying on CJ Miles to stop people.

Pasty Gangsta said...

I've advocated this move for years. I do think the other downside (besides the contract, which sucks but there's nothing we can do about it) is AK's fragile ego. He says now that he's OK with not starting. . . we'll see where he is four months into the season.

The reason I'm all for trying it though is it gets Andrei involved in the offense, which could translate into him being more involved defensively. Going against second units, which are almost always made up of crappier players, will give him a chance to score and excel defensively, which is what I think he really wants.