WALTHAM — Asked to learn the power forward and small forward positions last season, Ryan Gomes often felt like a college student, constantly cramming for exams. He had a lot of information to process in practice and before each game.
As his role expanded throughout the year, the information overload continued. The second-round selection (50th overall) juggled both roles sucessfully, becoming the most pleasant surprise of the season and starting 33 games. But this season, coach Doc Rivers would like to make the game a little simpler for Gomes.
Starting with Tuesday night’s exhibition in Cleveland, Rivers plans to use Gomes only as a power forward. In the future, injuries and matchups may require Gomes to play some stretches at small forward. Until then, look for Gomes to bring his instinct for rebounding and scoring inside to just the power forward spot.
“I just want him to stay comfortable,” Rivers said. “He’s comfortable at that position. There’s going to be a time when we’re going to need him to act like a [small forward], but I don’t want to screw him up. He’s so comfortable right now in where he’s at. Honestly, he could do either [position] because he’s so comfortable and he has confidence. But I don’t want to take the chance.”