First Nicolas Batum was the starting small forward, then Nate McMillan decided to go with Travis Outlaw at the last minute in Los Angeles. And now it has come full circle. According to McMillan, Batum will get the start against the Utah Jazz Wednesday night.
"(Batum) has done a nice job of just guarding his man and weakside help," said McMillan of his reasons for insert Batum into the starting lineup. "If he can stay with that, which is what I want from him, just concentrate on defending, rebounding, going to both boards -- the offensive and defensive boards -- run the floor, if you're open shoot the ball. But don't worry so much about scoring. Make sure you defend, you bring that scrappy play, that weakside help, loose balls, those things. I think if he can do that for us, it'll give that first unit something that we don't have with that group.
"I think he's got three games -- not a lot of games -- but defensively, see if he can come in and give us some of that dirty work on the defensive end."
Travis Outlaw now goes back to the second unit, where, according to McMillan, he'll play both small forward and power forward.
"Travis will still come in at the three," said McMillan. "We may slide him to the four some. I think it just depends on how we want to attack that team that they have in there. So he'll play some four, but he'll be going between the three and four. Mainly the three.
"I think Travis has played OK, but we'll get him coming off the bench."
Batum and Outlaw swapping units might not be the only change to the rotation. According to McMillan, Rudy Fernandez, while not necessarily starting, could get extended minutes with the first unit.