After four consecutive losses to teams that aren’t tanking, Dwane Casey is considering a lineup change after looking at some rather mercurial statistics:

“Our starters are minus-18 (in points scored vs. points against), so it’s something with the start of the game…When you start with your starters going minus-18, that’s difficult to come back from”

Hmm. This is quite bold, he’s honing in on a stat that he finds troublesome and is about to do something about it – isn’t a bit too short-sighted to rely on just stats?

“With their minutes on the floor, they are minus-18. That’s the analytics, but I know what my eyes see.”

Good stuff, the eye-test is confirming the stats. I stand relieved. But hey, what’s Casey going to do about it?

Whether it’s a lineup change or change in personality, we have to look at something to start the game because we can’t expend that much mental and physical energy to fight against all the teams we are going against. That’s what it has been the last couple of weeks. We’ve got to look at it and just see where we are.

I don’t question our guys’ fight,” he added. “It’s not that we are not playing hard with the first group. It’s just not meshing together with that first group, but we have to look at that. It may be just a matter of time to let it go. We are still searching. We are not panicking, but we have to make sure we understand and get the right group together.

A lineup change! The age-old answer to fixing deep-rooted chemistry issues. Let’s look at who has been the worst starter in the first quarter for the last “couple of weeks” (8 games). Again, this is over the last 8 games and considers only the fist quarter of those games.

stats

There you have it. Of all starters, Rudy Gay has the worst Net Rating of all players. Case-closed.

Of course, we all know that’s not going to happen and someone like Jonas Valanciunas will be getting the axe, or worst yet, Amir Johnson. Casey will likely introduce Tyler Hansbrough into the lineup to bring his energy up front, and although that move might pay dividends in a game or two, Hansbrough is best suited to the role that he’s currently excelling in.

Make sure to check out the RR 3-on-3 tournament held in T.O – play some ball, it’s way better than the internet.

Quotes are from Toronto Sun, the stats are from NBA.com.

  • Anuson Wijay

    yo daye or gay… it rhymes and daye is obviously our best player…. o_O

  • StabbyRaccoon

    It’s kind of absurd isn’t it? Rudy is clearly playing poorly but nobody would even think of having him not start. If you ask me Rudy’s the main reason for Jonas and Amir’s struggles, they don’t get enough touches and don’t feel involved. Casey should try 1. Lowry 2. Terrence Ross. 3. DeRozan 4. Amir and 5. Jonas. At least for a couple games I’d love to see that.

    • KickRocks

      Terrence Ross is looking really good so far. Still showing a little bit of inexperience but he’s certainly not killing the offence.

      If you could call what Casey’s running an offence.

  • FREEJV

    i know everyones gonna bash me for this but why cant we start novak at the 3/4 and rudy at the 3/4. I think he would open up a lot of soace for JV inside and for rudy and demar to operate. Our lineup would be lowry demar novak rudy JV. Its just my opinion so dont get butthurt kids.

    • FREEJV

      space*

    • TheTyrant

      Because Gay doesn’t pass it to Novak. Nor Ross. It wasn’t any more plain to see during the Miami game

  • TheTyrant

    I just don’t understand why Gay can’t be the leader we all want him to be BY PASSING THE BALL. Dude is so gifted, could make anyone on the team look better, could be a double double guy this team needs, but despite the eye surgery…

    Sigh

    • OldSkoolCool

      Because he is a player who is thinking about the name on the back of the jersey, not the front…time for this organization to move from players like that

  • Amigo

    “…….but I know what my eyes see.”

    An idiot behind a mirror

  • Rap fan 2

    I would play either Rudy or Steve at the four. So maybe a line up of Jonas, Rudy, Demar, Terrance and Kyle or Jonas, Steve, Rudy, Demar and Kyle. Putting in Steve helps space the floor better. It’s nothing new. We’ve seen these and various other combinations playing together already anyways. Since it’s not been working well it doesn’t hurt to change things up.

  • caccia

    “Hansbrough is best suited to the role that he’s currently excelling in.” Don’t you think you should wait until he has started a half dozen games or more before making a judgment like that? The guy bleeds to start (literally).

  • http://www.probballreport.com/ Stephen Brotherston

    If you want to change personality and provide energy – its Tyler Hansbrough for Amir Johnson. Amir has been getting off to slow starts all season and playing better in the 2nd half.
    If you want a more veteran presence – its Steve Novak for Johnson – that means zone defense to start the game, but why not
    If you really just want to shake things up its Terrence Ross for Johnson and Rudy plays the 4 – but that’s a really small lineup to start games with and who’s the scorer coming off the bench now?
    Could use Jonas instead of Amir in any of these situations except Jonas usually starts strong and finishes slow so this doesn’t really accomplish the goal.
    Rudy isn’t shooting well when creating his own shot, so instead of moving him to the bench (just plain dumb anyway) run some catch and shoot plays for Rudy in the 1st quarter as he’s been doing pretty good at that (eye test) and maybe he’ll get in a better groove for the rest of the game

    • TheTyrant

      I say keep Rudy at 3. His help defence has been good and I’d think it would suffer if he had to check a bigger body. If scoring punch is needed, shift his minutes more to the secondary unit, and in the 3 quarter and end of 4th quarter.

      This way we have some opportunity for pick and roll with bigs with a lineup that passes more.

  • Red Baron

    A change to starting lineup might be a good jolt for this team, but know what would be even better? If Coach Casey once and for all STOPPED with the constant tinkering to lineups and sub-patterns….Landry seems to be part of the 8 man rotation and then isn’t, Acy gets some good burn and then is in a suit, Gray is here to bang with the big 280lb monsters but doesn’t and then is out against some quick guys, Terrence Ross drifts in and out, and worst of all we still see 5 man combinations like DJ, Bucyks, Daye, Fields, and Gray actually happen in REAL games…I know Coaches only have minutes as the carrot/rod to motivate players so I get the idea of giving someone the hook for a game or two to send messages, but at some point don’t we have to establish who we are?, what we want to run?, what pace we want to place, what we want to take away and live with on D, etc..? I can’t imagine it’s easy for the players to find a rythm and/or chemistry with each other this way.

    • Mexiballer

      I agree. Its looking for answers in the wrong place.

  • me

    I propose a starting line-up of Johnson, Ed Davis, DeRozan, Ross, and Lowry.

  • AxlT

    I’d take Gay out and replace with Fields … he’s a runner, a ball mover, he’s been playing well when given extended minutes … we have too much scoring in the starters, he won’t need to shoot… bench needs a scoring punch, rudy may get his efficiency up versus rotation players

  • TheTyrant

    Where’s the pick-n-roll this year with the bigs? There’s been poor execution with it and Amir’s game seems to be the biggest casualty … As has Jonas’s game. I think we’re really changing our game by putting in TH for Amir. Not complaining but … Well yes. Complaining

  • Mexiballer

    Forget the line up changes and tinkering. Casey needs to chew their asses off if they dont come to play hard on every possession. Who ever doesnt respond to that, give them hell again and sit their asses down. Rudy and Demar included. For whatever reason this team doesnt know how to motivate itself. Casey needs to do more than talk the talk. If you dont play hard, you dont play, and everyone in the arena should know about it. Casey needs to send a stronger message than he has been sending. Some accountability please.

  • robertparrish00

    Great…so is he going to give JV less playing time? Guaranteed if JV was on another team he would be developing into an all star. But here he is Casey’s scapegoat. One of the two has to go and it has to be Casey.

  • Tanks-a-lot

    DeMar Derozan needs to be the 6th man.

    Since this is the Rudy Gay era he must start. Put Ross in to start the game with Rudy. Have DeMar finish the game replacing either Gay or Ross. Ross opens the floor for Gay with better range than DD. DD gets to finish games strong against slightly more tired opponents. JMO