Why Keith Smart used the same starting five for a second-straight game
For a second-consecutive contest, Keith Smart started Aaron Brooks and Travis Outlaw in place of Marcus Thornton and Isaiah Thomas. In postgame, he explained why he decided to use the same starting lineup from Monday’s win against the Trail Blazers .
Early in the first, Brooks picked up two quick fouls and was substituted out of the game after just five minutes of play. The veteran point guard wouldn’t return until the third quarter, where he recovered from his early struggles to score seven of his eight points. He also played the entire 12 minutes in the period following intermission.
“I want to get a better understanding of who Aaron Brooks (is),” Smart said. “I know who he was a couple years ago. I want to get a feel for him (now).”
Outlaw, meanwhile, played more than half his minutes in the first quarter. And like Brooks, the 28-year-old forward sat out the entire second quarter then returned to play most of the third period.
“I need to see how Travis responds, how he plays,” said Smart. “I needed to see him responding in the third quarter after having a so-so first half, and I thought he did a good job.”
In total, Outlaw and Brooks each ended up earning roughly 17 minutes of playing time in the 10-point loss to the Golden State Warriors.
“I indicated to (my team) if anybody in here wants to be first-team, all-preseason, just let me know,” Smart said with a hint of sarcasm. “If you want to be leading scorer in the preseason, just text me…and I’ll keep you in the game so you can have your points. The whole goal of the preseason is to keep your team ready and right so that you have a chance to have a successful season.”