Tag: Mychel Thompson

Knicks Media Day Basketball

J.R. Smith wants to start, coach Woodson sees it differently

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We brought you the report the other day that Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith doesn’t want to be a sixth man, he wants to start. And with Iman Shumpert still out for a while following knee surgery Smith sees an opening in the starting lineup.

But coach Mike Woodson is standing in his way.

Woodson was asked about Smith moving into the starting five and balked at the idea. Here are his quotes, via the New York Post.

“I kind of like J.R. where he is in terms of coming off the bench, but he could start, too, you never know,’’ Woodson said. “Everybody can’t start. I’ve got a nice mixture of guys in that starting unit from an offensive standpoint. I have to have some offense coming off the bench as well.

“Like I told J.R., if he comes off, there’s nothing wrong with that. Hell, he could be the best player coming off the bench in this league and maybe be the Sixth Man of the Year Award. Hopefully that will translate to a lot of wins and get us to a championship round because at the end of the day that’s what we’re in it for.’’

I agree that good teams have a sixth man who can come in and change a game, putting up points and changing the tempo and flow of the game (think Manu Ginobili). I agree that what matters is who finishes a game, not starts. And I agree that if he were consistent for a season Smith could be in the Sixth Man of the Year conversation.

But Woodson was starting rookie Mychel Thompson at the two guard with the starting team. There comes a time when the desire to have a sixth man of importance should give way to making sure your clear and away best player at a position gets the most minutes.

Undrafted rookie Mychel Thompson to start for Cavaliers against Boston

M. Thompson

According to multiple sources, the Cleveland Cavaliers will start undrafted rookie Mychel Thompson tonight in place of Anthony Parker, who is out with a back injury. Mychel (not Michael) Thompson is the son of Mychal (not Michael or Mychel) Thompson, the former #1 overall pick who won two championships with the Trail Blazers over the course of his 14-year career, and the brother of Klay (not Clay) Thompson, who was selected 11th overall by the Warriors in the 2011 draft. Clearly, the Thompson family loves basketball as much as it hates conventionally spelled first names.

Mychel, who played four years at Pepperdine before going undrafted, was picked up by the Cavaliers after an impressive stint with the Erie Bayhawks of the D-League. Tuesday’s game will be Thompson’s 3rd in the NBA. When the Cavaliers met the Celtics last Sunday, they managed to pull out a win thanks to a thrilling layup by Kyrie Irving to put the Cavaliers up by one with only seconds remaining in the game.