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This is not the first time that I have broached the idea of Jayson Tatum occasionally playing at the five for specific small-ball match-ups. Most NBA coaches, certainly including Brad Stevens, are not leery of experimenting with non-typical line-ups


After adding some strength and beef in the off-season, Jayson comes in at about 6'8.5" and 212 pounds. Make no mistake, Al Horford and Aron Baynes will see the most minutes at center, with Daniel Theis and possibly Rob Williams getting some time at the five-spot. But there likely will be times when Stevens goes with a small line-up with Tatum at center, possibly surrounded by Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown. Every guy on that unit can handle the ball, pass, drive, defend and shoot from distance. All five have the capability of playing the guard position. They would be a nightmare for many teams.


Position-less basketball and radical line-ups are here for at least a while. Wizard's coach Scott Brooks has stated that he is seriously considering using 6'8", 205-pound Otto Porter at center on some occasions, and surrounding him with four guards. Brooks has also put forward the idea of using the 3-guard trio of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Austin Rivers at times (per Washingon Post's Candace Buckner):

“It’s part of our strategy going into every game. It’s how we want to play,” Brooks said. “Whether it’s six, seven minutes of those lineups or 25, 30 minutes of those lineups, it’s all going to depend on how the lineups are playing that particular night.

Brooks wasted little time in trying out another innovation. Guard Austin Rivers, in what he described as his first real training camp experience due to neck spasms that held him out of earlier sessions, spent part of Thursday playing alongside starting guards John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Expect to see more line-up innovations from Brad, particularly early in the season. He has so many varied talents among his troops, there is almost a real need to experiment. Whatever happens this season, fans will not be bored.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Winslow Townson/AP Photo

Tom Lane 9/30/2018 01:34:00 PM Edit
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