Warriors look for best fit, not necessarily best player at starting small forward

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

With Harrison Barnes, Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush competing at small forward, the starter may end up being the player who fits into the lineup best, not the best overall player.

Four of the five starting positions in the Warriors' lineup are set, but Harrison Barnes, Brandon Rush and Richard Jefferson continue to battle for the starting small forward job. On Wednesday, head coach Mark Jackson said the starter may not be the best player, but instead the best fit in the lineup.

"I think the reason why is there's more into it than who's the best player," Jackson said, according to the Mercury News. "Ultimately, it's what's the best unit, what's the best role, what best suits us."

With that in mind, Barnes may end up coming off the bench even though the rookie has been impressive during his first few practices. Rush's defensive skill set and ability to do a little bit of everything may be a better fit with the starting unit. Power forward David Lee said he thinks Rush fits in the starting lineup well.

"I think he does. It's yet to be seen, it'll be up to Coach," Lee said. "I would say at this point he might be our best defender at the 3 spot. And that's going to help Klay [Thompson] out a lot similar to the way [Andrew] Bogut's going to help me out."

While the players continue to battle, Jackson shot down the idea of one of the three starting at shooting guard with Klay Thompson coming off the bench. Jackson said that Thompson definitely will start.

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