Greg Monroe scored 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting with 10 rebounds, three assist, one steal and one block as Stan Van Gundy rolled out his jumbo starting lineup including Monroe, Josh Smith and Andre Drummond on Friday against the Magic.
The Scoop:Monroe and Smith are clearly both comfortable playing power forward, and it was Smith that struggled tonight at small forward with just three points on 1-of-7 shooting to go with seven assists, two steals and one block. Van Gundy was clear before the game that he's not going to be using this lineup this season, but since it's the lineup they should theoretically want to close with they need to learn how to make it work.
The Scoop:All three started on Wednesday and they fared well, with Smith notching 14 points at the SF position that flummoxed him last year, but it's little more than preseason experimentation. "We need to have the flexibility of using that lineup, being comfortable in that lineup," said Van Gundy. "We need to look at some different defensive schemes and things." Whether Smith starts or comes off the bench on opening night, he projects as a late-round fantasy value.
The Scoop:Coach Stan Van Gundy said he'll play his oversized frontcourt together for about 6-9 minutes per half, as he continues to experiment with different looks during the preseason. It's unclear whether Smith or Monroe will start at the PF spot on opening night, but it seems very likely that one of them will be coming off the bench.