Well after much deliberation during preseason, Brian Shaw has finally announced the starting five that will take the court Wednesday in Sacromento. And boy, it’s a doozie.
If Lawson plays, Shaw says he will start, along with Randy Foye, JJ Hickson, Anthony Randolph and JaVale McGee. #Nuggets
— Denver Nuggets (@denvernuggets) October 29, 2013
Wilson Chandler’s absence was somewhat expected, due to his reported hamstring injury, but his replacement came as a minor surprise. While Randolph got a lot of run in the preseason it hardly seemed feasible he would contribute any more than he did last year, mostly as a garbage time player who might play some meaningful minutes in emergency stopgap situations.
But to find his way into the starting lineup? Over Faried, Arthur, and even Hamilton? That’s a shock. It’s hard to see what value Randolph gives the team at this point, his “potential” (such that there ever was anything there to begin with) has been mined completely at this point, you know exactly what you’re getting with him, and it’s not much.
But then again, this move may just be a necessary byproduct of embracing J.J. Hickson at power forward. Faried would not work as a three next to Hickson, and the only remaining options on the roster are really Gallinari (hurt), Chandler (hurt), and Arthur (the recipient of a curious vendetta from Brian Shaw).
There’s no two ways about it, this lineup is going to be pretty awful, on both ends. But this current iteration of the starting unit is hardly going to look like the end product, as pieces get shuffled around and injured players return. Additionally, the prestige of being a starter is vastly overrated, the distribution of minutes – and who’s out there to close games – is much more important. A more optimistic approach to this news would be to say that Denver now has one of, if not the, best bench in the league.
Hickson over Faried and Foye over Fournier are smaller debates in their own rights but for now, this seems the hand Denver is being dealt at the moment. I’m sure you guys have a ton of thoughts, feel free to
vent express them here.