In the wake of the tragic exercise ball bursting, Kings Head Coach Paul Westphal told the media that he plans to use Kevin Martin and Tyreke Evans at the Small Forward position at times this season, making one scratch their head even more. Per Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee:
Kings coach Paul Westphal offered a little more into his thinking in how he plans to map out playing time at small forward.
Beno Udrih. Kevin Martin. Tyreke Evans.
The Evans-Udrih backcourt has been used in the preseason before Francisco Garcia’s injury. Without Garcia, those two along with Martin will help fill the void at small forward.
“Obviously Tyreke and Beno and Kevin are going to play a lot of those minutes at the two and the three spots,” Westphal said. “And then there are minutes available and the candidates are (Andres Nocioni) and (Omri) Casspi and Donte (Greene) and Desmond (Mason).”
The Evans-Martin-Udrih combination makes sense for Westphal is his fondness for versatile players that make them interchangeable in his offense.
During Sunday’s scrimmage the trio was on the floor together with Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes up front. And each of the guards brought the ball up at some point during practice.
Who plays the role of shooting guard or small forward, however, makes no difference.
“The two and the three are the same on our team,” Westphal said. “It depends on who you match up with defensively. There’s really not much difference.”
Westphal said Evans and Udrih are both playing well, so expect to continue seeing them together on the floor.
In all honesty, I’m not really sure what to think of this. Udrih has played well (be it a small sample) this pre-season and contributed his issues last season to then Head Coaches Reggie Theus and Kenny Natt. Then you have Evans who has a big body and good size, but those advantages lurk more for a Point Guard or Shooting Guard slot than being a Small Forward. Add in his lack of a consistent shot and it makes you start to worry. Martin on the other hand would most likely get pushed around on both ends of the floor, especially on the defensive side. He simply lacks the body size or strength to match up with most Small Forwards on the defensive end. His speed will be beneficial, but to what point?
So, a lineup of Udrih, Martin, Evans, Thompson, and Hawes over a lineup of Evans, Martin, *insert Small Forward*, Thompson, and Hawes…
What version do you prefer?