Channing Frye has been banished from the starting lineup as Isiah Thomas continues to move the chess pieces to find the right combination for his talented – if mismatched – roster.
Thomas has said he wants a stronger interior presence and will go with a two-center look of Eddy Curry and Jerome James -likely into the All-Star Break. Frye responded with 18 points off the bench in Saturday’s 94-86 victory over the Magic in Orlando and played rugged defense, but he didn’t sound pleased about his demotion.
“I know I earned that spot,” Frye said of his starting role. “Coach wants to change stuff up, that’s fine. My thing [is] do the best I can. If we’re more successful with me coming off the bench and we’re winning games, hey, I’ll ride with it. Whatever it takes to get [into] the playoffs.”
The James’ insertion was the best-kept secret in Florida during their three-day stay, with the news media not finding out until 30 minutes before Saturday’s tip-off. “Isiah wanted it that way,” James said.