What to do with "Balls"

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


  1. What happened to scenario 3 Forcey?
    If it was my fantasy team i'd be looking to trade one of those 3 for a proper PG. Of course if i was trying to trade with you Forcey you'd try and trade me Shane Heal's dead corpse for DJ and Simpson, and so i'd be stuck with those 3 anyways.

  2. Thanks Cors- when my readership is up to 5000 I'll hire an editor. There's some hope yet for our backcourt, I'll give it a few more games to see how it pans out.

  3. The problem with DJ and Weigh on the courttogether for so many minutes is that DJ isn't a banger. Doesn't like to the dirty work inside and will only put in on the defensive end of the floor if he is getting shots at the other end.

    Weigh is the Sixers' best exponent of the "matador" defense and while he gets some good rebounds just below the free throw line, this is generally because he has no one around him...on defense...

    Our best lineup is Simpson/Balls/Weigh in the front court, but 35 mins for Weigh is too many. Creek should be getting 10 - 15 of the 3 man mins.

    Calling Balls (a bonafide top 5 player in the league as recently as last season) a good 6th or 7th man is ignorant.

    Yes he's not shooting well, but the only way to get the guy out of the slump is to put him out there for extended minutes and give him the green light. Look at his season by season stats. Guy is consistent. His shot will return.

  4. Hey Daniel,

    I love Ballinger and he's one the great bigs in the league, unfortunately he's on the same team as one of this years best bigs (I'd only have Khazzouh ahead of him) who can play both ends of the floor. Simpson has the 4 spot locked down and needs 32-34 mins a game. Simpson can't play 3 or 5, meaning Ballinger has to back him up and play some 5 against smaller teams. DJ has issues on D but his offense is blossoming and he needs to start. Clarke loves Weigh so he's also locked into 32+ a game.

    I meant Ballinger as a 6th or 7th man on this team is a nice problem to have. I don't see Clarke bringing him in to start for anyone else. He turns 32 next week and his scoring has continued to drop over the last 4 years. If Simpson wasn't on the team though and we'd recruited import guards he'd definitely be starting.


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