End1st, Start-Mid 2nd

Two bench players on these Knickerbockers stand out far above the rest. One is named Brandon Jennings and the other Lance Thomas. These will be the two first off the bench.

Who they replace will be the big question.

Considering what Jeff Hornacek wants to do with his uptempo system, the first substitution in the first quarter should center around taking Joakim Noah out and shifting Kristaps Porzingis to the center spot. It’d give either Lance Thomas or Carmelo Anthony power forward abilities.

Furthermore, Derrick Rose will move to the two when Jennings comes into the game. Not only does it makes sense from a body point of view (as Rose is two inches taller), but Rose has and can play the off-guard. In this rotation, he will quite frequently.

The first substitution will take advantage of Melo and KP playing together.

2nd Unit

At some point, mainly the first half of the second quarter, the second unit will roll deep. It’s an interesting crop that can score, but lacks serious defensive ability.

The question will surround which starter or two plays with the second unit and who wins the two guard spot between Justin Holiday and Sasha Vujacic and who takes the backup bigs spots between Willy Hernangomez, Marshall Plumlee, and Kyle O’Quinn.

Mindaugas Kuzminskas is a 6’9” scorer who can play both forward spots. His availability in year one stateside will be interesting and important.

 Next: 2nd Half Looks 

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