Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Changes to the starting lineup

The Trail Blazers are going to show a different look tonight out of the gate. Martell Webster is going to come off the bench for the first time this season, with Jarrett Jack being inserted as the starting two guard while Brandon Roy moves to the small forward position. Nate McMillan noted that it wasn't necessarily because of Webster's play, but more because he's looking for "a spark." This is what McMillan had to say about moving Martell to the bench.
"I want to see if we can get the tempo a little faster and if we can balance. I just want a balance. That three position for us, we need that balance. With Martell coming in with the second group we'll have the balance I think we'll need. Offensively, we'll be able to do the same thing we've been doing.

We need more ball movement. I think right now we're shooting way too many jump shots on the perimeter. We need more post-ups and penetration so I'm going to start Jack, Blake and Roy with LaMarcus and Joel to see if we can get more movement. Because right now, even though we're getting off to slow starts and it's not on Martell so it's not 'Martell is the problem.' There's a lot of things that factors in with that. Because of the way we're playing, Brandon is handling the ball a ton, and I think that has an effect in the fourth quarter. So if we can get more ball movement, get more attack, more penetration, (Roy) won't be so worn down in the fourth quarter...

Looking at our faces the last -- I think I've been saying this since we came back off that road trip -- I think we just need a spark. It's not so much the last game as opposed to a number of games. You know, seeing if we can get a spark. A number of games, not just recently, were we're playing from behind and I just think we need a spark. But it will give us balance too with the rotations."

It'll be interesting to see if the switch results in what McMillan is looking for. It's also worth noting that the Blazers have yet to win a game this year with Jarrett Jack in the starting lineup, though in this defense, he's only started four times this year.

On the Bulls personnel side, Kirk Hinrich (ribs), Luol Deng (Achilles) and Ben Gordon (wrist)are all out tonight. That's a lot of firepower sitting on the Chicago bench. Hopefully the Blazers can take advantage.

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