Latest News, NBA / Apr 14, 2009 / 6:39 pm

David West doesn’t like new role

David West (photo. NBA)

David West (photo. NBA)

In the fourth quarter of the Hornets’ win over the Mavs last Sunday, Byron Scott helped neutralize Dirk Nowitzki by going with a small lineup: David West was moved to center, and James Posey went to the four, where he held Dirk to just four points down the stretch. Before that, Dirk had dropped 25 points through the first three quarters.

It wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last time Scott played West (20.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg) at center. With Tyson Chandler dealing with injuries all year, Hilton Armstrong still producing inconsistently, and Melvin Ely and Sean Marks being, well, Melvin Ely and Sean Marks, West is the team’s most dependable big man and rebounder, even if he’s undersized for the five spot at 6-foot-9.

The smaller lineup has worked on occasion, like against Dallas, but it’s not something Scott should rely on too much in the playoffs. And, it turns out West isn’t a big fan. From New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist John DeShazier:

There’s no long-term future in it for the All-Star forward and no long-term benefits in it for the Hornets. It’s a recipe for disaster if opponents have enough time to exploit it, and the longer New Orleans goes with it, the more likely that’s going to happen.

But short-term, in small spurts, against certain teams during the playoffs? It might be about as good as the Hornets can get this postseason, and it will be, especially if Chandler isn’t available.

“Coach is going to go with the guys that want to be productive and play hard,” West said Sunday, after playing center most of the second half.

West isn’t whining and crying about it, and he didn’t say anything on record that was so bad. DeShazier describes West as “nothing less than a consummate pro” in dealing with the move, but also makes it clear West doesn’t like playing center. He writes that West “isn’t crazy about” the move, and opens the column with this:

No need wasting time, energy and words trying to describe how much David West enjoys playing center for the Hornets.

He doesn’t.

Can the Hornets win a series without an effective Tyson Chandler in the lineup?

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune

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  • Drink the Haterade (KB24 Chip 09)

    First off no, I don’t see them winning a series in which they don’t have home court; especially w/o Tyson.

    And I didn’t read where West came out and said he doesn’t like playing the 5 spot. You guys should really change your headlines to the content on hand. Also, do you guys take grammar lessons?

    “where he held Dirk to just four points in the down the stretch”.
    you guys are missing a word here… I expect the best from you guys not some half ass written spread. If I wanted that I would go to ESPN

  • IGP

    what the fuck is this article?

  • haslem

    Man the Center position is getting a bad rap. I think a lot of dudes shy away from center in high school because if you are 7 feet and dominating highschool kids it isn’t saying much (as a result practice 3’s more than post moves). And if you aren’t 7 feet and more like 6’2-6’4 it’s viewed as an insult to your ball handling and outside shooing skills to be forced to play low post where you have no future because you aren’t tall enough.

    all these big guys don’t want to play center, I don’t get it. is it because of the abuse, is it because they don’t get enough touches? what is it?
    Is it possible Centers in previous years where viewed as simply tall and not as skilled as the other players (with guys like Shaun Bardley who clearly only made the L cuz of height).
    That seem’s to be changing as we remember how key Centers are and how tough proper post play is.
    or maybe I’m way off.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    I’m not sure NO would win a series this year with Chandler. They are sorely lacking in bench production.

    As far as the grammar mistake is concerned, this is a blog. I don’t expect perfection in a blog. Now if there were grammatical mistakes in the magazine that would be inexcusable.

  • AB_40

    no… who’s david west?… nah just kiddin

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    He might not have said it this time, but he definitely flat out said it in February, right before the Tyson Chandler trade when there were all the injuries. Told the paper he hates playing center. I love James Posey, but it’s really biting the Hornets in the ass that they didn’t go after a backup big. Of course it doesn’t help that they draft like crap. I gave Hilton Armstrong a chance at the beginning of this year, he could have had a breakout year, but he’s so inconsistent it doesn’t seem like he wants to try.

    Not to mention West is already kinda undersized for a 4.

    Chandler is coming back, but I doubt he’ll be 100%. Earlier this year when the team still seemed to have some swagger left, I’d have said they could take anyone but the Jazz in a 7 game series (hey, they were one Chris Paul mistake–really the only one he’s made all year– from splitting with the Lakers). But now the list is very short. I think NO has a chance against:
    1. Blazers
    2. Mavs
    3. Spurs

    A month ago Nuggets would have been on that list, and maybe Rockets. Not anymore. Everyone else peaked in the last few weeks while New Orleans and Utah just sank.

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    I think Tyson didn’t play really well in last seasons’ playoffs. Just my two cents, but if you look at how great he was in the regular season, I think his slide in play may have started in the 2nd round. Hopefully he can outrebound Okur in the playoffs this season.

    That said, going small can work in the playoffs against the right teams — some teams are just too big to try that against, because they aren’t going to be baited into it (like the Lakers with their legion of tall, long guys inside). You can go small against houston because if it’s a fast game they have to take Yao out because he’s not quick enough on defense and gets tired running up and down the floor.

    I’d take west and posey over scola and landry any day.

  • craig990

    Ahh.. Amar!

    at the 4 and 5 spots.. I would take Scola and Landry.. and not because im a Rocket fan.

    Scola busts his ass on every play and is all out hustle. He is a good rebounder even though he doesn’t have
    ups… he has good anticipation.

    Landry is a warrior.. back after getting shot.. and is a good high-energy guy. A good rebounder and an adequate defender. He can score. and is good asset comming off the bench.

  • Ernesto

    How awesome is that James Posey contract now? “He puts them over the top” and “certain title contenders” they all said. Ha! I laugh at the pre-season hype machine of which Dime was a part.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Scola and Landry are good, but I’d take West and Posey. Scola isn’t a 20-point scorer or somebody you’d necessarily run a play for at the end of a game. Posey is a better and more versatile defender than Landry, and he can have one of those games where he hits six threes and saves your ass.

  • Ian

    i cant agree with u i think scola is the best player of the 4 i would never pick west and posey over the rockets duo

  • Ian

    austin scola can do everything west does and hes a smarter player
    you dont think scola can avg 20 being the second option behind paul?

    btw i rather run a game winning play with scola than west

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Ian — Nah, I don’t see it. Scola couldn’t put up 37 against Duncan in the playoffs. He’s a better rebounder than West and a great little-things guy, but he’s not as polished offensively.

  • craig990

    Austin – at the same time… if Scola would be much better if he played off of CP3. Honestly.. who does have an offensive game other than CP3 in N.O?

    West has some moves but he basically feeds off Paul. Pick and Rolls, Pick and Pops… and Chandler can catch alleys all day. So who’s to say.. playing with Paul.. Scola can’t put up big numbers.. as said before.. unlike West.. he would bust his ass off for every play.. I rather heart than just talent any day.
    … Scola wouldn’t complain about playin the 3, 4 or 5!.. Sure enough he would hard every second he is on the floor.

  • craig990

    srry for the errors!…no if* in the 1st sentence.. but who cares?.. this is a blog!

  • IGP

    @ Austin

    I agree man. Scola is a great player, no doubt would be better in N.O. But West has been an all-star 2 years, and with TMac injured Scola could have really taken over some of the offense.

    And @ Ian, how are you gonna say you would take Scola over West for a game winner? That’s about as smart as hiring Isiah Thomas as a coach or something.

    Scola is still pretty good though, but I just think West is the better player.

  • craig990

    T-Mac couldnt even make the All-Star team last year.. so Scola def. can’t. Furthermore..West gets more opportunities to shine.. because he has CP3.
    But agreed. West is a better player..
    but at the P.F and Center positions.. I prefer Landry and Scola over Posey and West

  • http://dimemag.com Big Freeze

    West didn’t say anything about disliking playing the 5. First a sports reporter writes a false article claiming that West isn’t happy with the small lineup, then Dimemag writes another false article about the other guy’s false article. Nice one Dime, keep up the crack investigative journalism work.

    The only thing West said is, “Coach is going to go with the guys that want to be productive and play hard.” How the fuck to you come to the conclusion that West hates playing center from that?

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    To many ifs in that situation. Team wise time will tell.

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    From a different article in February:

    “‘Obviously that’s not my natural position,’ he [West] said after his 17 point, 10 rebound performance.

    ‘Naw, no, no, no, no, no,’ he said when asked if he’d like to play center again. ‘It’s not something I hope continues.'”


    Does that settle the “fake article” thing?