Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Miller Returns! What does that Mean for JCrit and Navarro?

With Mike Miller due to return to action tonight against the Nets, what will this mean for the rookie backups of Juan Carlos Navarro and Javaris Crittenton?

Miller has been quoted as saying he is going to ease back into the rotation. Minutes should be short at first. That bodes well for JCR and JCN but that won't last for long. What happens when Miller is healthy and the gym rat wants his minutes?

Iavaroni has said he feels best running an 8 man rotation but who are the best 8 on a team building for the future? Conley and Lowry are set at the point. Rudy, Hak and Darko are the front line with either Collins or Brown backing up Darko. That leaves the 2 guard and backup SF/PF positions still undecided. Miller can play the SF behind Rudy and Rudy can back up Hak at PF when he needs a rest making Miller, Hak and Rudy a three man rotation at the 3/4 spots and that frees up Navarro and Crittenton to play all the minutes at the shooting guard.

That would make sense but do the Grizzlies want to move Miller to the bench? Obviously Miller is better than Navarro or Crittenton right now at the shooting guard position but is it best for the team in the long run to sit those players? Would it hurt Memphis' ability to trade Miller (if that is even being discussed) if he isn't playing the shooting guard position. Would that put more pressure on Miller's back to be guarding small forwards predominantly or would it be harder on his back to be running around guarding players on the perimeter?

I don't know the answer so I asked an Orthopedist I know what he thought. Is it more difficult on a players back to be on the perimeter or nearer to the basket? He said he has no idea which is more stressful but he agrees with me that the rookies should play shooting guard and let Miller play forward with limited minutes for the rest of the season. So a doctor agrees with my opinion about Miller.

Honestly the season is shot, Miller doesn't have anything left to prove to anyone that making the FIBA team last summer and this season's performance hasn't proven already and the rookies need the court time. Why put Miller in at the 2 and deprive Navarro or JCrit the experience?

BallHype: hype it up!

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