All the issues about rotation choice aside, Dave made an incomprehensible substitution in last night's fourth quarter changed the whole momentum.
We were tied at 80 with roughly 6 mins left. GV hit a 3 to give TOR a lead. So Nick tried to pass it to Miller at top of the key to respond a 3 in next possession, GV saw through it and took it away then made a 3 pt play.
Frankly it was a mistake any pg could've made. Conley could've made. And despite the turnover Nick was doing really good in 4th qtr and I actually heard Toronto broadcasters saying: we gotta stop Nick going to the line. To add to all that, the lineup that was on the court were keeping the game tight mostly and 6 pts deficit was easy to come back really.
And then Joerger Substitution happened. Conley for Nick, Zbo for Miller and this particular move made TP and Tony playing at the wing. Then the deficit expanded to double digit quickly, and by the time Lee came in at 3 mins mark the whole momentum was changed and we never came closer than 10 pts.
Dave doesn't trust Nick and he doesn't know Tony and TP can't play at wing together. That pretty much sums up last night.
After discussing this topic thousands of times throughout the season, I'm officially sick of thinking about it and I know Dave is not gonna make a change, at least not in regular season. He didn't make a change when team wasn't playing that well, Prince looked awful and others emerged as better option, why would he change now when team's winning and continuity needed?
I just hope Dave realizes he needs the most productive guys to form a tight rotation in PO and decides the right rotation for every series. Well, this sentence particularly means I don't want to see Prince starts against Spurs every game(probably 4 games if he starts every game in that series).
Last year when LH kept ED out of rotation, there was nobody playing backup center and LH didn't bother to try ED out.
This year ED is out of rotation in a extremely crowded front court.
It's kind of strange that Dave doesn't use the ideal wing combination Lee+Miller that much, in the 30 games since Lee joining the team, this combo only shared the court 138.0 minutes(4.6ms per game).
For comparison(all in the last 30 gms), Lee+Prince played 615.8 minutes, Miller+JJ played 291.5 ms, Lee+JJ 234.3 ms, Miller+TA played 151.4 ms. Considering that JJ is out of rotation lately and TA only played the last 10 games, the playing time for Lee+Miller seems low.
I know that Lee plays in starting unit and Miller comes off the bench is probably the reason, but this 2 seems like the ideal combination in 4th quarter and perfect solution for teams trying to crowd the paint. IMO Dave should enhance the usage of this combo.
The most likely loss this week would come against a red hot Toronto team that's won 9 in last 11. If we win this one, it's very likely we'll be facing the defending champion for the first time this season with a 6 games winning streak.
Although it puts the exciting Blood Sports out of rotation, I like the idea of having Jonny Bagger as another floor spacer in 2nd unit. While the deap bench seems very enjoyable as we gradually gaining control in playoff spot race, it also brings Dave a head case as to decide the tight rotation comes postseason, especially 2, 3 and 4 position.
A loss to Nets should be an acceptable loss because Nets are playing league's 6th slowest pace with a recently elite defense and has the 2nd best record in East since Jan. right behind Bulls.
Griz struggle against slow teams is a trend continuing throughout the season and it's no coincidence that 3 of 4 losses with Mike and Marc both active after Jan. were against slow teams (NOP, BRK, CHA) and the other one was against league's best team with impressive interior defense (OKC).
That's why I think looking at remaining schedule should take pace into consideration. There are 3 games in March against slow teams playing at elite level (BRK, CHI, MIA) which I'd put them in L colum. 2 other games against slow teams plays at mediocre level recently (CHA, TOR) and another one against a top team with top defense (IND). We should take down 1 or 2 of the latter 3 and that gives us a 12-5 or 13-4 March, good enough to sneak into top 8 before end of the month.
I know some might think it's crazy to put games against GSW, MIN, DEN and POR in W colum for absolute certainty, but a healthy Griz team always favor in matchup against fast team with non-elite interior defense.
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By Chris McCoy
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