VDN (yup, still head coach) went with Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson in the starting lineup in the second half of Tuesday's game in New York, and they did so well (showing a pulse is all it takes these days) that they're keeping it that way for now.
Says Vinny (replace 'Kirk' with 'Kurt', of course):
I just think it’s another ballhandler out there, another pick-and-roll guy, Kirk’s one of our best defenders, if not our best defender. We can play with a little more thrust, a little more pace with Kirk. Where we’re at now warrants some type of change. It’s not engraved in stone right now and it’s probably not a permanent thing. But for right now, I feel that’s the direction we need to go.
A couple things jump out:
- Some would say the obvious 'change-for-change's sake' move is firing the head coach.
- He used the word 'thrust' again when describing what Hinrich brings. I thought when he did so post-NYK it was a slip-up.
- I get the move, they both stink and can't shoot, but at least Hinrich isn't as much of a ball-stopper.
KC says that Salmons 'took the benching hard', but the quotes are pretty mundane. And Luol Deng continues to inadvertently (at least I think so) take shots at players by saying how much 'more energy' the new lineup will have. Remember this?
Switching Taj for Miller makes sense simply due to how terrible Miller is in. After his torrid run to end last season, it's possible that we're seeing the steep decline of an aging player, or that Miller dogs it when times are tough. Kings fans would probably point to the latter.
In happier news, Tyrus Thomas is back and should be ready for Saturday. I feel like rooting for Thomas is simultaneously rooting against the Org., so it's sort of a win-win. And lets face it, there's no more embarrassment that could be necessary to affect meaningful positive change anytime soon, so might as well hope for some wins.