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Thread: Should The Raptors Shorten Up The Rotation?

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    Administrator Dr. James Naismith's Avatar
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    Default Should The Raptors Shorten Up The Rotation?

    Reading Doug Smith mailbag today there was a question there which discusses why it seems to be that most teams come playoff time really tighten their rotations. Doug had this conversation the other day with some members from the organization which I guess felt that Jay shouldn't change anything and use our depth.

    Would you guys agree or come playoff time do you think Jay should really tighten things up himself and go with a shorter rotation?

    Q: Hi Doug. Posted this to your Friday morning blog, but it's probably better suited to the mailbag, so here you go:

    Can we talk "roles", Doug? How boxed in should any team be here? Isn't it possible that Jay's actually working too hard at defining narrow, pigeon-holed 'smallish' roles for players who were brought in precisely because they're so versatile?

    Especially when injuries deplete the troops, don't players' roles absolutely HAVE to be expanded to cover the shortages? And don't the players themselves look for and work for every chance they can get to take advantage of those opportunities? Wouldn't expanded minutes with more flexible roles maybe have come in quite handy the past couple of weeks?

    Then could we take that same question and apply it to the playoffs? Why exactly is it that a tighter rotation is 'mandatory' in the post-season? Couldn't it be that some teams are constructed with enough flexibility in talent and ability to play multiple positions (Hedo, Sonny, Marco, Jarrett, Antoine) and entirely goof up the traditional NBA playoff approach enough to be successful (by forcing opponents to try to adjust)?

    David M, Ottawa

    Doug: I’d say there were expanded minutes and more flexible roles in the last little while: Reggie and Rasho played more than they’d usually be expected to, Friday we say Sonny and Wright and Johnson get a lot more time than they might usually expect and the minutes they got out of Marcus Banks in Houston were certainly expanded. I think we’ve seen Jay try to pull some rabbits out of hats every now and then.

    As for the shortening of a post-season rotation, it’s funny, I was just talking about that with some from the organization who holds a rather lofty title.

    I was mentioning that I thought it’d be hard to play 10 guys in a playoff game and he was saying maybe not, maybe because of the way this team is constructed, that’s exactly what Jay should do, run out his usual combinations and rotations and let everyone stay the same.

    So you may see that when mid-April rolls around.
    Source - Click here

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    Raptors Republic Veteran LBF's Avatar
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    no, are we one of the "elite" teams in the league who just has a jacked starting lineup..?no.

    therefore we need to explore our options and usie deifferent guys at different teams so the better teams have a harder time figuring out what to do.

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    Well, Jack Armstrong in his recent post has advocated shortening up the rotation. I don't necessarily agree. We don't have the kind of consistency necessary in order to do that. Triano tried to cut out Belinelli from the rotation, however, there are times when Weems and Wright aren't cutting it. What I would like to see, however, is better shot selection from our wing players - not hoisting up too many ill-advised shots and inopportune drives would guarantee more minutes.

    But, shortening the rotation does mean something concrete: DeRozan is out of the starting unit. He is not playing better than Wright or Weems, and come playoff time he is simply not going to be able to contribute. Weems will struggle as well in half-court situations, but I think that he is a better defender. Wright should only shoot the open threes opened up from other players, and he needs to recognize that.

    Shortening the rotation would mean we have to live with whatever results come -- even if that means we have to live with Weems playing poorly, DeRozan getting blocked at the rim, or Wright chucking up any shot he gets. I don't think we can live with any of those, and we have to play with the hot hand for this season...next seasonis when the fat gets trimmed...

    Oh, and it doesn't help that Jack is taking time at the 2-spot. Although, I think we have established it is only effective in situations where the opposing two guard is small as well.

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    Toronto starts DeRozan but plays him only 20 minutes a night. None of their backup wings have separated themselves from the pack either so Triano generally goes with two reserve wings in the rotation. That means there will be at least six perimeter players in the rotation + Bosh and Bargnani + one or two backup big men.

    The use of DeRozan and lack of a top quality reserve wing means that the Raptors will need to use a long rotation. Either nine or ten deep.

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    As for the idea of shortening the rotation. I would like to see that happen. I would like to see DeRozan play 30 minutes a night and Weems to get a similar amount of minutes. I would also like to see Reggie Evans dropped from the rotation and for Amir Johnson to get all the backup big man minutes.

    A nice tight eight man first choice rotation -- this will not happen though.

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    I talked about this on the podcast with Scott and Steve a few weeks back. Shortening the rotation is a bloody joke and anybody who thinks that doesn't know what they're talking about. Teams that can easily pick our their top 7 players can think about shortening rotations because they experience a drop in production when they go any deeper.

    Other than Bosh and Jack, we are wildly inconsistent and nobody has been able to carve out a defined and consistent role for them, so to expect Triano to suddenly pick 7 guys and say those are the guys I'm going to go with is unrealistic. Our best chance at success is finding the players that are on that night, so I'm all for testing out who's hot and cold and go based on that. Play 10 guys, does it really matter? Why Doug Smith would think it's hard to play 10 guys is beyond me, we do it for 82 games, why not a few more?

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Buddahfan's Avatar
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    The way most teams shorten the rotation come playoff time is they give more minutes to the starters and to the key reserves.

    So lets say you go with eight guys

    That means that you play Calderon, Wright and Evans or Johnson. I could see doing that. Depending on who the opponent is. For example against a team like Cleveland Triano could play Evans Calderon and Wright. The rest of guys would only get scrap minutes or blow out minutes.

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