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A Plea to Play Cole Aldrich

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One of the lone bright spots in yesterday's blowout loss to the Jazz was seeing Cole Aldrich on the floor. In that limited span he tantalized us with his promise and fit for our glaring, gaping hole inside. Suffice it to say, Ibaka at the 5 isn't working out nearly as well as Scott Brooks probably has been hoping. When Serge is out there with Jeff on a night the Thunder are playing against a team with some semblance of a post game, we're basically toast (or at least all early indications suggest this). Send Aldrich out there though, and we have a fighting chance. While I don't have the particular numbers on hand, and such numbers in limited play would be neigh useless, Aldrich/Ibaka passes the eye test far more than Ibaka/Green. Ibaka needs to play alongside a stalwart in the post, freeing him up to play with mobility and reckless energy. When he's called to play a more methodical game (or the center position, period) he falls apart in so many ways.

For some inexplicable reason, we saw a few minutes out of pretty much the only interior presence we had all night, before the coaching staff decided it would be best to go back to what hadn't been (and would continue to not) work all night. Playing Cole for more minutes probably wouldn't have won us the game, what with the shoddy ball movement and clumsy shooting, but it still would have appeared to be a more palatable move for the fans. I understand the desire to keep lineup stability, play your rookies sparingly while you develop them, and otherwise stick to the past (static) formula for success, but for at least one night the decision to minimally play your only effective interior big man (as of that game) was more than borderline ridiculous.

We're not asking that Cole be given starting minutes, or even be allocated the greatest bench role -- but please, when the team is being crushed inside and you don't have Collison to throw out there to stem the onslaught, please play Cole Aldrich. It's not a difficult move to make when it's the obvious move to make.