Tuesday , Oct , 16 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Al Harrington & Steve Francis Would Make Great Sixth Men For Golden State Warriors & Houston Rockets

Like Harrington, I think Francis could potentially make a great sixth man. As a starter, he wouldn’t see a lot of the ball and would have to accommodate Yao and Tracy McGrady-the team’s first two options on offense. But as sixth man, he would have the freedom to look for his own shot and could provide energy off the bench …

Don Nelson is experimenting with Al Harrington’s role in Golden State:

And at the top of the list is using Harrington – whom Nelson repeatedly called his best player in training camp – as his sixth man.

"That’d be like a perfect position for him," Nelson said before Monday’s 107-88 exhibition win over Lithuanian club Zalgiris Kaunas. "Bring him off the bench where he can just be the gunslinger. He has the ability to stretch defenses and he’s really aggressive." 

Meanwhile, in Houston, Steve Francis is animated about Houston’s up-coming season:

Rockets guard Steve Francis on Monday had the unusual experience of getting a technical foul in a practice.

With the Rockets playing with game-like conditions on the main Toyota Center court, Francis drew a technical foul in the fourth quarter.

"I did it on purpose; I got a call after that," Francis said. "I told him they were cheating for Yao (Ming) and Tracy (McGrady), so he got mad at me."

My Quick Take:  Nelson is a mad scientist of a sideline boss. He’s always scheming on unique ways to use players and Harrington as ‘s sixth man makes sense. The versatile forward is a scorer. And coming off the bench, he can look for his shot instead of having to defer to Baron Davis and the other starters.

’Big Al’ seems on-board with the idea, too. Remember, he grew tired of his sixth man role in Indiana and requested a trade. But spending time in Atlanta probably made Harrington a little more flexible. He’s quite close with Nelson, who actually shifted him out of the starting five for specific playoff games last year.

                                                                * * * * *

I like that Francis is animated, emotional, and drawing technical fouls in Houston’s practice. He’s at his best when hanging off every call and skipping up-court after a big play. In New York, he lacked interest and energy, which hurt his play.

I think The Franchise will have a big year with . And like Harrington, I think Francis could potentially make a great sixth man. As a starter, he wouldn’t see a lot of the ball and would have to accommodate Yao and Tracy McGrady-the team’s first two options on offense. But as sixth man, he would have the freedom to look for his own shot and could provide energy off the bench.

At the end of the game, the substitute and starter distinction gets tossed, so Francis, as one of the Rockets’ best players, probably ends up on the floor. His role would be similar to Detlef Schrempf’s sixth man gig with Seattle.

What do you think of Harrington and Francis as Golden State & Houston’s top reserves? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

Click here to read and subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA Blog.