RSS

IMHO The Strangest Rotation Decisions in 2010/11

27 May

Second-guessing is a very popular sub-sport behind every sport but my intentions in this post are quite different from what you may think: I simply would to like know reasons behind those decisions so if you know them, please let me know. In short the premise in all cases is simple: why player X played more than player Y?
I feel obligated to mention that’s it’s NOT nitpicking after the fact because I had those situations on my radar in early stages of the season.

Let’s start with two honorable mentions…
Marcin Gortat vs Robin Lopez [for a sizable chunk of the season] in Phoenix.
Am I a homer on this one or have Gortat played better immediately after the trade and he should have been starter for Suns for 35+ minutes from day 1? Or was it simply a case of not trusting new player on the team?

Tony Allen vs Xavier Henry and Sam Young in Memphis.
Why was Tony Allen benched in the first half of the season?
Second half and playoffs should us how huge mistake that was… and could have cost Grizzlies home-court in 2nd round. Fortunately and to his credit John Hollinger bang this drum a lot.

OK, now four cases which were puzzling me since at least December 2010 and they are still puzzling me [so if you know the justification, please let me know… Thanks!]:

4) Marcus Thornton vs Willie Green in New Orleans.
It would be more glaring without a trade with Kings but still IMHO it’s worth exploring.

I remember reports about Thornton’s lack of defense and/or attitude but
at what point those are simply an excuses for a safe move?
Or was it a case of coach afraid to play younger player even though he was better?

——————————————————————————————–

3) Julian Wright vs Sonny Weems in Toronto.
Let’s start with some facts:

Raptors were going nowhere, so it would make sense to give both chances but…
why Sonny Weems played twice as many minutes as Julian Wright?

——————————————————————————————–

2) Marreese Speights vs Spencer Hawes in Philadelphia.
Sixers were a playoff caliber team so they should have played the best rotation possible, right?

In terms of contracts
Spencer has expiring one while Marreese will stay in Philly in 2011-12 so he should be in their plans, no?
So why Spencer Hawes played twice as many minutes as Marreese Speights?
Did fit trumped every other argument here?

——————————————————————————————–

1) Ryan Anderson vs Brandon Bass in Orlando.
For me it was the most puzzling rotation decision in 2010/11 because…

So why Ryan Anderson didn’t play more minutes than Brandon Bass?
I know that Ryan was injured in the first half of the season but even if we include only second half numbers, Brandon still averaged more minutes per game. What happened there? Magic’s coach staff didn’t believe in Ryan’s shooting touch and treated it as a fluke?

Advertisements
 
9 Comments

Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Unanswered Questions

 

Tags: , , , , ,

9 responses to “IMHO The Strangest Rotation Decisions in 2010/11

  1. Crow

    May 27, 2011 at 17:27

    Marcin Gortat vs Robin Lopez
    Gortat played 27 minutes his second game in Phoenix and 34 in his third. There was a 2-3 week stretch where he didn’t play as much in January but that coincided with huge minutes for Frye who played some good games then and the team was on a winning streak that way.
    4) Marcus Thornton vs Willie Green in New Orleans.
    It does seem like Thornton was buried too far in New Orleans, probably for ”political” reasons. Maybe his attitude, maybe tough love trying to get more out of him. I never saw that much in Willie Green’s stats.

    3) Julian Wright vs Sonny Weems in Toronto.

    Weems showed some promise and some good player pairs the previous season and he knew the system. Wright was more highly regarded. He is also about to become a Restricted free Agent and maybe they didn’t want to have him blow-up right now and attract too much attention and raise the bids for him. I’ll want to see if they retain him or not and how much they play him if they do and then maybe their handling of him will make more sense one way or the other.
    2) Marreese Speights vs Spencer Hawes in Philadelphia.

    They probably thought Brand was a better match with Hawes than Speights but Speights has a neutral +/- with Brand while Hawes’ with Brand must be negative though I don’t know offhand how bad. I don’t know fully what to make of Speights play & handling. He started out pretty well as a rookie then his defense got horrendous in 09-10. He shoots too much. Probably should take a lot of the blame himself for his loss of minutes. Still, they probably should have stayed with him and given him more opportunity to see if he might eventually fit into a role.
    1) Ryan Anderson vs Brandon Bass in Orlando.

    Anderson had a weak playoffs last season and he repeated it this time. Bass had 2 strong previous playoffs. He slipped some this time but they might have felt he was the better regular season time investment because of his previous playoff record compared to Anderson.

     
  2. wiLQ

    May 27, 2011 at 19:23

    > Gortat played 27 minutes his second game in Phoenix and 34 in his third.
    > There was a 2-3 week stretch where he didn’t play as much in January

    But he started his first game on March 27! Wasn’t it strangely late?
    Yes, his minutes were fine probably since mid-February but it still makes
    almost 2 months of IMHO strange rotation.

    > It does seem like Thornton was buried too far in New Orleans, probably for
    > ”political” reasons.

    What kind of politics do you have in mind? GM? Coach? Owner?

    > 3) Julian Wright […] they didn’t want to have him blow-up
    > right now and attract too much attention and raise the bids for him.

    But do they know what kind of player they have?
    770 minutes seem awfully small for me to make a decision.

    > Anderson had a weak playoffs last season and he repeated it this time. Bass
    > had 2 strong previous playoffs. He slipped some this time but they might have
    > felt he was the better regular season time investment because of his previous
    > playoff record compared to Anderson.

    Wait a second, but Ryan was also better in regular season [with bigger sample size]…
    So why would Magic react to playoffs to change rotation in regular season?

    Anyway, thanks for the comment ;-)

     
  3. Crow

    May 27, 2011 at 20:12

    Gortat starting did take awhile. Maybe they were hoping Lopez would respond better than he did. Maybe they didn’t want to hurt his trade value. Eventually they made the change. Lopez is unlikely to get the starting Center job back now.

    The Hornets Coach probably was looking for players with a different style, obviously team first. Thornton may not have put out that vibe. But that is just a guess.

    I am not sure anyone really knows what kind of player Julian Wright can be. Maybe they know better what kind of player he is now than I do though. The keep the minutes down on upcoming restricted free agents is a theory that I seen some evidence of in other circumstances. Can’t prove it, but it is a possibility. Maybe part of a more complicated answer than I had time to research right now.

    Ryan was better in regular season with bigger sample size. Still the
    Magic might have given more weight to the past playoffs as the playoffs are the most important time and a somewhat different game & challenge. Again this is just a quick guess of a plausible answer to add a little something to the discussion.

     
  4. Crow

    May 27, 2011 at 20:20

    Bass and his agent were also making some noise about a trade during the season. With all the stuff they were dealing with and Howard’s future somewhat uncertain, they might have wanted to try to quiet Bass down some.

    Anderson is still under a rookie contract. Could be extended this summer and will be a RFA next summer. Again I don’t know for sure that they were trying to suppress his salary demands but I wouldn’t put it past some teams.

     
  5. wiLQ

    May 27, 2011 at 21:32

    > The Hornets Coach probably was looking for players with a different style,
    > obviously team first. Thornton may not have put out that vibe. But that is
    > just a guess.

    It’s as good as mine in this case ;-) But how Willie Green had team first vibe?
    He’s not exactly known for other things than shooting.

    > I am not sure anyone really knows what kind of player Julian Wright can
    > be.

    That’s why those minutes are so puzzling to me.
    They had opportunity to give him chance and yet they didn’t even try…
    while there was at least a possibility that he could be their SF of the future.

    > Bass and his agent were also making some noise about a trade during the
    > season. With all the stuff they were dealing with and Howard’s future
    > somewhat uncertain, they might have wanted to try to quiet Bass down some.

    Even if that move cost them some wins? Strange strategy, no?

    > Anderson is still under a rookie contract. Could be extended this summer
    > and will be a RFA next summer. Again I don’t know for sure that they were
    > trying to suppress his salary demands but I wouldn’t put it past some teams.

    Well, good thing about your angle with suppressing value is that we will know the answer in the offseason ;-)

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s