Last night, Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy called upon backup center Marcin Gortat to share the floor with franchise center Dwight Howard in order to strengthen his team's interior defense, which had been flagging against the Philadelphia 76ers. It's a look that he's used just sparingly over the last two seasons, and perhaps most notably in the fourth quarter during a come-from-behind win against the Boston Celtics.
From Brian Schmitz, this bit of information on Van Gundy's philosophy regarding the backup power forward job:
Van Gundy said he would look at [Brandon] Bass, Gortat and Ryan Anderson in certain situations with the season dwindling down."
And also from Schmitz, Gortat's thoughts on manning the four:
"I'm ready. I feel confidence in that position, definitely," Gortat said. "I know the rotations defensively. It will be good."
And from this site, a post on that pairing from the NBA Finals, which includes more perspective from Gortat.
So, up for discussion today: the merits of a Howard/Gortat frontcourt pairing. Do you like it or dislike it? Why or why not? Are you as confident in Gortat's power forward skills as he is? And, if Gortat proves he can play the position effectively, could it secure his long-term future in Orlando and make Brandon Bass expendable? All questions worth thinking about.