Stan Van Gundy isn't ready to hit the panic button just yet. His team is 0-2, but the first-year head coach is not going to change his starting lineup tonight vs. the Brooklyn Nets despite the fact that Greg Monroe is returning from suspension and Brandon Jennings offered to come off of the bench.
The incumbent starters have not exactly bathed themselves in glory, and were even on the receiving end of some blistering criticism from their head coach for lack of effort coming out of halftime Thursday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Van Gundy called the lack of effort "inexcusable," and said, "We just absolutely melted down, hung our heads, and basically, the group on the floor were willing to let the game go."
When asked about bringing Monroe off the bench was a short- or long-term plan, Van Gundy said, "Everything right now is a short-term plan. We're oh-and-two."
Whether sticking with the struggling starting five is about patience, and letting the long-term plan come into focus organically or Van Gundy truly believes his current starting five makes the most sense for the team long-term is unclear right now.
And similar to what we've seen from D.J. Augustin through two games, there is no saying that Monroe won't be the one to close out the games.
Speaking of Augustin, having Monroe on the floor could really help Augustin in a two-man pick-and-roll game with both players good enough passers to find open teammates on the perimeter if the defense collapses.
The starting lineup, however, is going to have to keep struggling to find it's identity, and Jennings is going to have to be a more assertive floor general, Josh Smith needs to up his game on defense and his patience on offense and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has to start hitting shots.