Saturday, April 09, 2005
Toine to Play Some 3 
Bulpett reports that Doc will use Walker at the 3 for parts of the game for matchup reasons.

"It's something we were going to do anyway eventually, but we'll just have to do it (today)," Rivers said. "We had been tinkering with it in practice before he got injured. We run him for about 20 minutes in practice at the 3 spot, because I feel like at the end of a game it would be a great way of attacking - having Raef (LaFrentz) on the floor with either Mark (Blount), Al (Jefferson) or Perk (Kendrick Perkins [news]) and then having Antoine at the 3 and Paul (Pierce) at the 2.
"The reason we like it is because it forces a 2 to guard Paul, instead of the bigger of the two (small forward, shooting guard). The bigger guy usually guards Paul, and that takes some of his post (game) away. This way we force the matchup."
As for how Walker can handle the position defensively, Rivers said: "That's the problem. That's why I haven't done it much. When you play a team with two small 2's and 3's, then it's dangerous because now we have to go guard them."
I've always been skeptical of the move for the defensive reasons mentioned, but it does make sense to do it when there is a matchup that can be exploited. Seems like this would be a way to get Walker and Al Jefferson on the floor at the same time. Might as well see if it works now, we might need this kind of flexibility for the playoffs and/or down the line.

# posted by Jeff @ 4/09/2005 08:55:00 AM - Message Board

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