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Starting Lineup

So Dunleavy went with Brand, Thomas, Ross, Mobley and Livingston against the Suns, making the answer to last week's poll question "Other."  How many more times will those five be the starters?  What's the over-under?  2?

Don't read too much into it, other than that Dunleavy will play the match-up game all year.  Kaman and Cassell were quasi-hurt, and Maggette spent the day in a hospitable getting IV fluids.  Combine all that with the pace the Suns like to play, and Dunleavy basically went with the five guys he thought could run the most.  Plus he probably wanted his three best perimeter defenders (Ross, Livingston and Mobley) out there to slow down the Suns more so than against other teams in the league.

Kevin at ClipperBlog has argued that either the Livingston-Maggette combo or the Cassell-Ross combo makes the most sense.  Maggette and Cassell are clearly the better scorers, while Ross and Livingston are the better defenders, so you go with one of each.  Certainly the Clippers were offensively-challenged last night, with Shaun playing 17 more minutes than Sam, and Q playing 26 more than Corey.

We have another track meet tonight.  The Nuggets want to run almost as much as the Suns.  (Actually, the Nuggets probably want to run more; the Suns want to shoot more.)  

I expect that Dunleavy will play hunches all season long, and not settle on a starting lineup.  Brand will obviously start when healthy.  Mobley (Blanket) will start, despite his pre-season offer to come off the bench.  Kaman will almost always start.  The others are going to be game-to-game.

This is the same guy who inserted Daniel Ewing and Walter McCarty into Game 5 with 3 seconds left.  Sometimes he over-coaches situations, but you gotta give him credit for always thinking.  He's not going to be surprised by much during the season.