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Wes, Wayne start, J.J. out today at Washington

  • Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
  • January 8, 2012 - 11:50 AM

With Michael Beasley out for at least the next three games in the next three days, Rick Adelman is moving Wes Johnson from the starting shooting guard spot to small forward and inserting Wayne Ellington into Johnson's guard spot today at Washington.

Adelman said he would have considered giving Ricky Rubio his first NBA start alongside Luke Ridnour in that small backcourt if he could bring J.J. Barea off the bench, but Barea isn't ready to play yet.

Adelman left open the possibility that Barea could play Monday at Toronto or Tuesday at home against the Bulls.

Barea was out on the floor working hard with player development coach Shawn Respert long after his teammates went back into the locker room after warmups to wait for today's noon opening tap Twin Cities time.

Why no Derrick Williams in the starting lineup, you ask?

Probably because he has played little at small forward so far and he is struggling to adapt to guarding NBA small forwards out on the floor.

He'll get lots of minutes today and probably will play more at small forward because of Beasley's absence but I'm guessing Adelman thought Johnson was the better matchup to start, even though Wizards small forward Rashard Lewis is out today with a sore right knee.

Plus, it will give Adelman a chance to see if playing Johnson at his more natural small-forward spot will make a difference and get him going out of this early-season funk.

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