KC, is there any chance that Cartwright might try Crawford at 2 guard? I have watched all their games this year, and I believe that Jay and Jamal might complement each other well, as they have different strengths. I also happen to agree with Krause that Crawford is better than his stats would indicate. They could move Rose to small forward, and have a four-man rotation of Chandler, Curry, Baxter and Marshall at center/power forward. Why not? --Chris Han, New York
Instead of "Ask K.C.," let's play "Ask Bill Cartwright." Here's his answer to your question: "There's no reason to. If we play Jay and Jamal together, what am I going to do with Fred Hoiberg, who's playing pretty well? What am I going to do with Jalen Rose, who's our 2? I think those guys should play."
Is Coach Cartwright married and if so, does he have any children. --For, Sycamore
Bill is indeed married, has been for many years and has four children--three sons and a daughter. He comes from a large family, too. He's the only boy of seven children to his father, James, and his late mother.
Explain to me the way Cartwright handles the substitution patterns of his team. I always thought you have starters who play starters' minutes and subs who play subs' minutes. Too many time this year he has stayed with the subs when they were doing well, which on the surface seems like a good idea, but those subs will have to come out at some time and if you keep them in too long the starters are sitting on the bench for seven maybe eight minutes and have a hard time getting back into the flow of the game when they return. Case in point he puts Jay williams back into the game with two minutes left in the half after sitting out for almost nine minutes last night. How does he expect Williams to get back into the flow of the game? --Stano, Downers Grove
Funny. Another reporter and I were just talking to Bill about this very point before the Golden State game. His answer was exactly your point: Why take out a unit that is playing well? But he also acknowledged the delicate aspect of perhaps waiting too long to bring the starters back in. Bill's rotation will be an ongoing story all year if he continues to try to play 10 people. That's tough. And he's doing it because he wants to try to develop players and also win games. That's also tough.
Would you agree with me that Marcus Fizer is a great player stuck on a wrong team? I truly believe if the team gives him the minutes and tries hard to develop him into a inside terror, he can be like Karl Malone. What did he do to deserve a seat in the dog house? He's done nothing wrong but performed well whenever the opportunity was there. --Jayson Choi, Glenview
I don't agree that Marcus Fizer is a great player. I do agree that Fizer, in the right situation, is a productive low-post scorer. I wrote a story during the preseason that said he could be another Corliss Williamson type. But, as you know, he's not even playing now, having ceded his spot to Lonny Baxter. To his credit, Fizer hasn't complained. But here's management's complaint with Fizer: They think he disrupts the flow of the offense. They think he holds and dribbles the ball too much. Last season, Fizer found a good role under Cartwright, providing consistent scoring off the bench. At this point, I think he's going to have to be moved to another team to find that.
Any chances of seeing a lineup of Crawford, Rose, Robinson, Marshal and Curry? This would improve the defense at the guard positions and add a small forward that can handle the ball if needed like Scottie Pippen. --Bill Nice, Galesburg, Ill.
Cartwright insists he will keep the same starting lineup for now.
I know you wrote an article recently explaining that Trenton Hassell was relinquishing his numbers for the good of the team, but come on KC. Isn't it a liability to have a guy on the floor that is not going to take any shots. I know you are probably going to bring up Dennis Rodman, but Hassell's defense isn't thaaaat good. Wouldn't we be better off starting Eddie Robinson, or giving Jamal Crawford an early shot at shooting guard (like Krause said) and improving his trade value, or even have Fred Hoiberg out there for a good jump shooter? KC, explain why Hassell is playing 28 minutes a game. --Farhan, Rio Rancho, N.M.
Because they love his defensive versatility and his work ethic. That's really the answer. I'm not saying I agree with it and you certainly don't. I don't think Hassell is playing as well as he did last season. But he's still their best perimeter defender, no matter what you think. And he plays hard every night. It's a tough call with this team. Somebody is going to be unhappy with their minutes after every game.
There has been chatter about Shaq's return slated for Friday night against the Bulls. Have you spoken to Eddy Curry and does he want to go against Shaq on Friday? As much as it would help the Bulls, wouldn't Shaq's absence cost Curry a chance to gain valuable experience? --Peter C. Middleton, Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Curry wants to face Shaq. And I'm guessing Shaq wants to face Curry, as well.
Thanks for your questions. Talk to you next week,