This concept isn’t new, P.J. Hairston is a dynamic player, Dexter Strickland is not, so start Hairston already Roy Williams. North Carolina fans have been calling for this move for quite some time. After all the team feeds off Hairston, he’s the only player that can shoot and take the ball to the rim, his defense is coming around and his energy is infectious. So why hasn’t Roy made the move yet?
Roy recently made this quote when asked about the subject:
Hairston is averaging 27 minutes per game over his last four games which begs the question do we need to calm the P.J. Hairston should start talk? The counter argument here is that Hairston is playing “starter minutes” and the concept that it doesn’t matter who starts the game it matters who’s on the floor during crunch time.
I don’t subscribe to either of those theories, I firmly believe the team would be better with Hairston in the starting lineup. Look at James Harden, a fantastic sixth man for the Oklahoma City Thunder so good in fact that he was selected to represent the United States in the Olympics. His minutes in his last season for the Thunder 16.8 points, 3.7 assists in 31.4 minutes. After being traded to the Houston Rockets and becoming a starter he exploded his averages this season 26.5 points, 5.3 assists in 38.5 minutes.
Now more is at play in Hardens increased productivity, with the Thunder he played with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in Houston the offense runs through him. Chapel Hill is not Oklahoma City and the offense is not running through two superstars. The real reason this move has to happen in order for Carolina to reach their potential this season is the simple fact that the offense doesn’t run through anybody. It was supposed to run trough James Michael McAdoo who hasn’t improved his game enough to be the catalyst of the offense and Reggie Bullock doesn’t have game versatile enough to take on that responsibility. It has to be Hairston and it has to be soon.
The team is 11-5 and just 1-2 in the conference with 15 games remaining it’s may not take 20 wins to get into the tournament this year but it’s going to be close and if this team wants a decent seed they are going to have to win more than that. Time is running out to find an identity, to find an offensive leader, especially when he’s sitting on the bench right beside the head coach.