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Sergio or...?

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No doubt the cry will arise over Blazer Nation this morning, "What's the matter with you, START SERGIO ALREADY!"  I am not necessarily opposed to the idea, at least until Jarrett gets back healthy.  I know even then some will advocate Sergio starting, and that's a topic for another day.  For now, have you considered that unless something changes, the long-term decision may not be between Sergio and Jack, but Sergio and Zach?

Even though they play different positions and theoretically could be on the floor together, our young point guard and established power forward are like oil and water in terms of style.  Sergio runs and Zach walks.  This offense (pun probably intended) already got Sebastian Telfair shipped out of town.  "But wait!" you say, "Sebastian was more of a scorer!  Sergio shares the ball so much how could he be incompatible with anybody?"

Well...I'd argue first that Sebastian didn't necessarily start out to be a score-first point guard.  That emphasis was thrust upon him because our offense was so slow (and at that point stagnant) that his passing ability was thwarted.  Nevertheless I'll agree that he had more scoring instinct in him than Sergio does.  But here's the deal...in order to pull off those nifty passes and to express all that energy Sergio not only needs to run, he needs the ball.  Watch how long it usually takes him to set up an assist, and how much dribbling he does.  It's a lot.  And how many of his assists come off of penetration?  Answer:  almost all of them.  What happens to that penetration when guys are packed in the lane to watch Zach because Zach is camped down there not moving?  Even more germane, what happens to Sergio's production when his main task is dumping it in to Zach, cutting away, and watching Zach operate for 6-8 seconds...possibly twice in a 24-second period?  No ball, no magic, it's as simple as that.

You could say, "Can't Zach clear out and/or move around and let Sergio work?"  Sure he could, but unless he picks up a whole new game you're going to watch his production fall if he starts hanging around outside.  Neither he nor the team will be happy with that.

I'm always willing to admit something could change.  Maybe the offense bends, maybe Captain Espresso learns to dribble less, or maybe folks would be satisfied with less than 25 and 10 from Zach.  But unless something does change I'm willing to bet that you're not going to see Sergio and Zach both productive when they're on the floor at the same time.  They won't clash...one or the other of them will just disappear.  

I would bet that this is part of the rationale for not starting Sergio right now.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)