With Mike James and Devin Brown vying for the key backup point guard job, along with several other bench roles yet to be cemented, its likely Byron Scott will use his reserves more often than many NBA head coaches during the 2008 preseason.
After practice Tuesday, Scott said his starters will probably play 20 minutes at the most, during Sundays preseason home opener vs. Golden State. Id like to see some of my backups play as many minutes as possible, he said. The preseason is all about trying to get other guys involved so they can understand what were trying to do.
Scott said hes pleased with how James and Brown have looked since team practice began Saturday.
Backup point guard is probably our most important (battle) because it has to be someone who can run the offense and give (Chris Paul) a rest, Scott said. I dont want to play (Paul) a lot of minutes. Ive been pretty consistent with keeping him in that 34 to 35-minute range, and I want to make sure it stays that way.
Scott was asked whether last seasons primary backup PG Jannero Pargo might regret signing with a team in Russia if New Orleans is still playing in May and June. Scott joked that Pargo already may be having second thoughts.
I think hes over there freezing his tail off right now, Scott said. Hes probably wondering, What the heck did I do?
Were going to miss him, but life goes on. It was a concern, because hes done such a great job for us the last (two) years. But somebodys going to have to pick up the slack. Right now Im not concerned based on the way Mike and Devin have looked in practice, but it will be real interesting to see how they react when we get into games against other teams.