Before preseason even began, the Clippers looked to have a roster without many lineup debates except for Small Forward. After watching the preseason unfold, the newly acquired Ryan Gomes, who was assumed to be the starting SF has been somewhat underwhelming, most notably due to his lack of aggressiveness.
Meanwhile, the second unit has been attrocious, albeit they were often without the 2nd team's MVP, Craig Smith. Still, what has bothered me most about the 2nd unit is the negative chemistry between Randy Foye & Rasual Butler...they almost seem like they're facing off against eachother to see who can hoist the most shot attempts. Or maybe it's Rasual Butler gunslinging that makes Foye think, "hey I better get a few shots up myself, even if they are off balanced."
I'm sure the powers that be, VDN/ Olshey will give Gomes every opportunity to stick as the starting SF, but my feeling (almost) right off the bat is that it might hurt the starting lineup a little, and the 2nd unit even more to have Gomes start at the 3 in place of Butler.
Butler: Has a familiarity with three of last years starters, BD, EJ, & Kaman. Even Griffin from last year's preseason, etc. He can help spread the floor as a willing shooter, and maybe help reduce some of BD's 3PA's. His 3PFG% is likely to rise due to more attention being put on BG. Plays good team defense.
Gomes: Pass first SF, may have some more rebounding ability than Butler. Can shoot the 3 at a good percentage, but hasn't been a very willing shooter to date. May be the kind of facilitator that the 2nd unit needs, and may also increase his shot attempts in the 2nd unit while feeling more comfortable.
Aminu: He's definitely the 3rd man here, and may be the reason Gomes is the starting SF in the end. If Butler is in the mix for SF, then Aminu drops to 3rd on the depth chart at both small forward and power forward. If Butler stricly backs up EJ at the 2, then Aminu can get on the court as Gomes backup.
So with that, who do you think should start at SF?