As Brian noted yesterday in an interview with WEEI, Doc Rivers plans on rolling nine deep in the playoffs. This is not exactly “breaking news” considering Rivers is known for his short bench, small rotations, hesitation with playing five bench players at once, playing starters heavy minutes, and yanking players when they miss defensive assignments.
I don’t necessarily blame him. I’ve been playing a lot of “Words with Friends” lately and I know when I’m down by a lot, with less than 20 letters left, I’m not wasting my time getting cute-sy with “VAN” or “ON” even though the “N” may complete an already existing word (like “WOVEN”). I’m bringing out the big guns. I’m putting that “V” on a triple letter square and then hitting a triple word with another part of the word. I’m using all seven letters. I am NOT messing around. That’s right, I’m dropping “EVASION” on yo ass! (Eat it Colin!). 77 points.
Doc Rivers will need to use his best lineup, his best chance to win games, as much as possible. After picking up so many players (presumably able to make an impact) the question becomes, who are these nine guys? What tiles does Doc Rivers use?
Yesterday, Rivers specifically said, “All the guys we don’t need to fit, honestly. When we go to the playoffs were going to go to nine guys anyway, for the most part. I have 20 games to figure out which ones have the value.”
I want to know who he’s kidding. If he’s only going nine deep, starter’s included, then his bench is already set. Here’s the lineup:
Odd Men Out:
Do you see it breaking down any other way? Do you see any way any of the “Odd Men Out” crack the playoff rotation? Could Doc add more guys to the rotation or are guys getting bounced? How do these other players feel about this idea?
Jermaine O’Neal has said he’s going to be ready for the playoffs, which is great. Although, by my calculations, the dude is not getting off the bench. Could Doc Rivers use some of these players during the first two rounds to preserve the legs of his triple word scorers?
What do ya’ll think?