One of the interesting subplots unfolding in this unusual season for the 36ers is what to do with our skipper, Adam Ballinger. With the continued progress being made by DJ and the unearthing of an import big man who looks like surviving a whole season, all of a sudden the team has 3 quality bigs to go into two starting spots. So what should the lineup be?
Scenario 1- Ballinger/Simpson/Weigh
This is a little bit of an undersized trio but could probably handle most teams in the NBL (ie the ones who don't have a quality starting 7 footer). Ballinger can handle most players strength wise, but as he has limited hops, guys like Khazzouh will always trouble him.
Scenario 2- Johnson/Ballinger/Simpson
Ballinger doesn't like playing 3 and I think Simpson would be even worse as a SF. Doesn't work on offense or defence. Plus Weigh is a lock to start and 3 is his best spot.
Scenario 3- Johnson/Simpson/Weigh
This is the current set-up and it looks like the best option. I don't think our reigning MVP would be thrilled about it but it's the best option for several reasons.........
-Gives us a brute to come off the bench and a very good fallback if Simpson gets 2 fouls in the first few minutes
-Allows him to work his way back into game shape
-Allows Johnson and Weigh to continue to develop
-Gives us a legitimate scoring option off the bench
If your team has a guy like "Balls" coming off the bench, in theory you're in good shape. We had a former import/turn naturalised captain who made the most of this role (albeit at a slightly older age) in the 90's. "Pud" came in and took some outside shots, put a body on the opposition bigs and used his smarts and leadership to provide huge value to the second unit.
While he may not love it, "Balls" is an ideal 6th or 7th man on this team. Ideally our rotation goes something like this.......
Ballinger- sub for Johnson or Simpson dependant on opposition or foul situation
Herbert- to come in and take any guards scoring too easily and to spot up for 3's. Generally should be splitting time with Crosswell.
Creek- energy guy backing up Weigh or playing some 2 guard when Warren slips to point
Ng- love him, but for team balance should be spelling Warren or coming on if we're in a big hole
Helliwell- purely to foul dominating bigs and spell DJ