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Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread.

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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#121 » by SUPERBALLMAN » Tue Aug 31, 2021 5:10 am

doclinkin wrote:
doclinkin wrote:We might be better, but the team has been a long time on the treadmill of mediocrity. Unless you think otherwise. If we catch lightning in a bottle with this crew and all the moves work out as we can only hope, do you still see this team winning the Eastern Conference championship? If so I'd like to see the case for it. Shoot:


Outside/Inside, motion, depth. The ineffable, chemistry.

Beal at his best, off motion and screens, has hit .400+ 3 of 9 seasons.
He did so most recently with Bojan Bogdanovic and Otto Porter each also hitting .400 or thereabouts. John Wall averaged 7 free throws a game, 10 assists with so many options to kick it to.



We won 49 games, good for 4th in the EC.
Beat the Hawks, took the Celtics to game 7 in the semis.
John Wall had a career year, Beal was coming into his strength and confidence. Otto played 80 games healthy.
Otherwise, aside from Marcin Gortat setting solid screens, we had not much of consequence going for us.

Still, outside shooting from 3 positions, solid screens and picks at the top of the key, the middle wide open for the pick and roll game for Wall/Gortat, was the recipe for success. If we are making a case for a successful run this year, that seems to be the formula. Hot shooting from outside, pick and roll chemistry between guards and bigs, free throws to stop the clock, and stop any runs, foul out opposing starters, keep us in games late. Do we have enough of each?

Since this is a thought experiment imagining success, I am cherry picking the stats that make the players look best.

HOT OUTSIDE
Beal: Shooting .404 when he is on court with shooters who draw attention.
Bertans: career .400 3FG, shooting 8/game in Washington. Deadly off ball and in motion.
KCP: .410 last year, avg 4/ game stand still shooter, hot from both corners..
Kuzma: .361 last year, avg 5.5/game, best in motion with catch & shoot skill.
Rui: playoffs this year: was the .600 3FG a total fluke? or small sample size at 3/game. Consistency will be key, but hopeful.
Bryant: above .400 in Washington, 2/game
Holiday: career .375, avg 3/game
Kispert: .440 at Gonzaga, senior year. 6.5/game
Neto: .400, .390 in DC
Holiday: career .372. .390 during his best year.
IIRC even 6'10" Isaiah Todd had a string of smooth shooting games late in the G-League season.

In any configuration we can put shooters in the wings and with the ball. We have sufficient depth that on any given night one guy should be hot enough to keep us in the game. Yeah we will have to get them the ball, and don't have top-notch passers at every position, but still, on any given play someone who can shoot is bound to be open. That opens up the middle for the others. Ironically now we have the standstill shooters that Westbrook was looking for in the corners all year. But most shoot well even in motion, teams will get tired trying to chase and keep up with them. And if we get tired running patterns, we can re-fresh the position with the next guy.

If the current version of Beal can hit the 3 like he has in the past on top of the rest of his game. Well, yeah, then he may hit Hibachi status. Dangerous all over the court. Outside and in:

ATTACK THE LANES/FOUL THEM OUT:
Beal: avgs about 8 FT's a game the last 2 years
Dinwiddie: 7FTA's last time he was seen healthy
Montrezl Harrell: over 5FTA/ game his last 2 years with the Clips

Trez is a pain for Bigs to handle when he gets the ball in the pick and roll. Beal and Dinwiddie require so much attention with the ball in their hands that teams who show hard or try to trap the ball handler will be left scrambling to catch up when Harrell attacks with determination.



Ballhandling is our shallowest position, especially with Dinwiddie recovering from injury. Still he and Beal can trade off the on-ball attack. Beal tends to play long minutes. Maybe we get something from Holiday/WInston. Winston on offense is skilled in the motion game, getting teammates open with misdirection and hesitation moves. Teammates can learn fundamentals from him even if he proves too foot-slow to keep up on court. He was a terrible fit on a Westbrook team, but in a motion scheme he has the right sense of spacing/timing and may get a 2nd look by coach Wes.

We can also look to secondary playmaking by smart Bigs out of screens and picks. Deni showed flashes, and Harrell is an underrated passer in this role:



PICK AND ROLL THREATS
Beal and DWiddie are a lethal attack from the outside in. Players hack and chase when they get beat by them. If you can force opponents to foul you, you can stay in any game. The ones who will help them spring loose are the Big guys, who look to be a dangerous threat in this function:

Gafford: above 60% inside 10 feet, FG 66% on pick and roll plays
Trez: 74% on pick and roll plays, getting fouled about 25% of the time

Bryant is less efficient out of the pick and roll, since he has to gather himself to get momentum and lacks stop/start quick twitch speed. His defenders can catch up. However he is stellar once he is already in motion on a catch and finish off the ball:

CUT EM DOWN BIGS
Bryant: scored 81% on cuts to the basket, for 16% of his offense. He was fouled on his cuts 22% of the time.
Gafford: 77% on cuts, accounting for 30% of his offense
Trez: 71% on cuts, accounting for almost 25% of his plays.

All of our bigs cover a ton of ground when they aggressively slice to the hoop.
We lack scoring on cuts out of the wing or guard positions, no SF with great hands and hops. The closest we've got is:

Rui: 61% on cuts, accounting for 11% of his offense. But this is only the 39th percentile league wide.

What looks like redundancy with an odd man out may actually prove a strength for us. Bigs tend to foul more than other players since the action is funneled towards them. When one sits there is another waiting, each with a different strength. And all play with pace and activity. Bryant is recovering from injury but runs hard end to end, Gafford gets gassed since he jumps all over the court, Trez plays aggressive. We lead the league in high activity Bigs. If we can force opponent bigs to foul out trying to chase and keep up with this corps, then we further soften up the interior for DInwiddie and Beal.

OVERVIEW
To sum up:

On Offense, motion on the perimeter forces defenses to chase, or spring free accurate shooters.
Opportunistic ball handlers can find gaps and seams to slice past over-eager defenders.
Enthusiastic bigs screen off the ball or set hard picks. Bigs roll off picks, cut off screens, attack hard and fast.
Bryant has the option to pick and pop if he is left alone to hit a standstill three.
Our depth in starting calibre players off the bench means we can can feast on opponents second units.
Depth will also tire out teams who rely on their stars. Substitute freely. Run the same sets that work with interchangebale personnel.

Every team runs pick and roll plays, augmented by outside shooting. Pretty standard stuff. Our advantage is that we have a few players who do these things at an elite level. Bertans hitting outside, as a catch and shoot big, drawing opposing bigs from the paint. Beal and Dinwiddie attacking the lanes and forcing contact. Bryant scoring under the basket. Montrezl Harrell attacking the lanes in the pick and roll. Individually each is stoppable, but if we get our timing down and groove it so we can hit the right option each time, we can score over any team in the league.

On Defense we have most of what you need to do well:
one-on-one perimeter defenders in Rui, Bertans, Holiday, KCP.
Rearline intimidation in Gafford.
Rebounding from Bryant and Gafford.
2nd line rebounding from Kuzma, Beal, KCP.

The rest is up to coaching, chemistry, team cohesion. Young veterans all at a similar point in their career, in their prime or reaching their breakthrough years.

And of course the swift maturation to All-star status from one or all of our young players. Players adding aspects to their game we haven't seen yet. A jumper for Trez/Gafford. A low post game for Rui. Deni regaining his game and confidence from overseas championship runs. Bryant returning to the game faster and quicker on defense. Dinwiddie's shot beginning to fall from the midrange and out. Montrezl Harrell says he aims to be an all-star. Improved habits/activity on defense plus a reliable jumper would put him in conversation as a 4/5 instead of undersized center. Shooting is one skill many players develop over time. He has steadily improved his FT shooting, that tends to be the sign of a player putting in the work to improve.

Growth and development, a few lucky breaks, good karma, an off year for the league MVP contenders -- never know, we might just mess around and win a series or two.

Aside from that it does look like we have a foundation to build on, with enough players developing to look pretty good, and enough pieces that a midseason trade could make us look even better. Here the depth is also depth in tradeable assets.

So, we are basically one or two players away. The problem as always is that those players are a healthy Kawhi, this year's Giannis, any year's LeBron. One or two MVPs away from a championship, that's all :clown: Still I do like this squad and think they will surprise some teams who think they can overlook us this year. Should be interesting to see how it all comes together.



I could see Deni becoming very good running the offense of the 2nd unit. I think he could be very good with the ball in his hands, taking it to the hoop if left alone, dishing it to a rolling Harrell when the D collapses, or kicking out to an open Bertans, KCP, Holiday/Neto on the perimeter.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#122 » by doclinkin » Tue Aug 31, 2021 3:51 pm

SUPERBALLMAN wrote:
doclinkin wrote:
Ballhandling is our shallowest position, especially with Dinwiddie recovering from injury.

We can also look to secondary playmaking by smart Bigs out of screens and picks. Deni showed flashes, and Harrell is an underrated passer in this role



I could see Deni becoming very good running the offense of the 2nd unit. I think he could be very good with the ball in his hands, taking it to the hoop if left alone, dishing it to a rolling Harrell when the D collapses, or kicking out to an open Bertans, KCP, Holiday/Neto on the perimeter.


Yeah it'll have to come from somewhere. Our primary ballhandlers are more likely to attack than pass, but many of our best mismatches are pass-dependent players. Catch and shoot snipers and interior finishers. We have guys who can make their own offense, and guys who can finish, but not guys who can get you open or put you in position to score.

Under the Gilbert Arenas offenses that Wes designed, the team was heavy on dribble hand-offs, short passes, and player movement more than swinging the ball. We didn't have a true point guard since Gil wanted to shoot from the locker room (and given his efficiency, who should he pass to? Jamison, I guess, but he scored many of his points on junk ball shots and broken plays). In theory this short ball game also limited turnovers. Our offense was remarkably efficient even though we had few assists relative to other teams in the league. (And I always come back to the question: what pass-first point guard has won a chip? Jason Kidd with Dallas? Anyone else? If you rely on one player to make the whole thing work they are easy to shut down, and if they go down it is rare to get as good a back-up).

Like the Arenas squads, this team is will do its work with ball-dominant attack guards. The Wes designed small ball offense is standard nowadays. Everyone wants ranged bigs and a combo guard who can force a switch to find a seam, then penetrate and finish (or if stopped dish it to the guy who can). We have two or more of each of those guys. Even Aaron Holiday is in that mold, if not quite proficient at it. (Yet! I say).

But when that kick out or lob isn't there, we do need smart players who can relay the next pass. Screeners, pick setters, rebounders who willingly pass and can hit an open shot. Dirty work guys. Guys who play the team game. I wish we did have a Paul Millsapp to teach the younger bigs. Draymond. Al Horford. Marc Gasol. LeBJ as much as I hate him, he is an elite version of this (though he doesn't like to bang if he doesn't have to).

Deni looks like he can grow into this role. Trez as well, though if he was as active on defense as he is in the pick and roll, he'd be something fierce. Anthony Gill understands this game. Kuzma says he wants to learn to be a playmaker out of the pick and roll, but he is describing ballhandling as the way to do it more than setting picks and passing out of the short roll. He's not going to be a better ballhandler than most guards, but as a roll man he can out-quick many bigs who follow him above the key. If he gets sturdy enough to set a pick and make it stick he could be a serious weapon. He says he is working on getting stronger so his defense will stand out.

Wes is known as a detail oriented guy who cares about things like the angle of how to set a screen, etc. Footwork and the little things. As a player he was known as a mistake-free perfectionist. Serious of purpose like his namesake. I suspect all things being close, he will pick the player who picks it up quickly over a more physically talented one. If he can coach up a guy like Rui, and help him drill the techniques and tricks of team play until they are natural, then this kid would be a monster. If he can put Harrell's energy to good work on the defensive side of the ball, and feature him as a passing option, then the former all-league 6th man could contend as a starter. (Ok and if he could hit a jumper).

Really it all comes down to Wes' ability to work with not only the strengths of the guys we have, but to encourage and draw out their best potential. Even our top options can improve. Dinwiddie could be a more willing passer. Beal might re-gain his 3FG% when he is no longer the sole option and can work off the ball again. His strengths as a player development and fundamentals guy make me wish we did have a few raw potential types, and more future draft picks to play with. But hey, I'll be excited to see how any of our guys develop as they enter their prime.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#123 » by Ruzious » Tue Aug 31, 2021 5:52 pm

Another thing about Harrell, he's never played on a losing team in the NBA. He didn't play much as a rookie with Houston 41-41. Since then, he's gone 55-27, 42-40, 48-34, 49-23, and 42-30. And he's a different kind of guy just as different as Westbrook was here - there's no relaxation for him - he plays ferociously and is a pure competitor. He needs to succeed. His personality will change the team, imo.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#124 » by doclinkin » Fri Sep 3, 2021 4:51 pm

The more I think about it the more it looks like we should have a strong, even stifling defense this year.

Neto
Holiday
KCP
Kuzma
Rui

Are all above average defenders for their size and position. Fast, active, smart, good in transition, good on the perimeter.

In watching the bubble championships I was impressed with Kuzma and KCP's ability to stay in front of their man, stick with a play, slow down incursions into the lane, and funnel the drive towards the interior defender. We have seen Rui cause trouble for opponents' top scorers. We have seen Neto pester and fluster players on defense, which is how he made his reputation in FIBA play. Dinwiddie was building a defensive reputation before his injury. KCP I knew about but I was especially impressed with Kuzma's willingness to dial in on big wings and even fast guards, making it his responsibility to snuff them out. They played championship level defense in the bubble.






With sufficient depth, players don't have to worry as much about fatigue or foul trouble. Hustle could be at a premium from substitutes who know their best chance of earning PT is playing all out defense. Each of the players above seems to play the pick and roll well, fighting through contact to stay in front of the ball handler. Seems like if all are similarly strong we can play both 1-on-1 and switching defense equally well. In addition the tenacity and skill of our perimeter defenders means we can slow the attackers long enough for our Bigs to get in position.

Daniel Gafford doesn't need the help. Still, even Thomas Bryant was trending better in his defense during bubble play before his injury. Yes he can be footslow, but he is long, strong, active and unintimidated. He does block shots and rebounds all the balls in his catch radius even if his high center of gravity means he might get boxed out by players with position or leverage. HIs defensive reputation was hurt by having to cover for the broke leg tiny former hero Isaiah Thomas. No matter where he was, he was out of position trying to catch up. Still he has shown good effort, and as he gets stronger I suspect that reputation may climb the other direction, as it started to do in the bubble:



My sense is with this roster we have enough perimeter defense to stall the opposing attackers drive to the interior. Where Gafford and Bryant can feast on them. Both are strong and active enough to be a load to deal with:




We can force misses. Even if our rebounding might not be as strong. Gafford, Bryant, Kuzma (at SF) are all above average rebounders for their position. Rui could be, but he lacks the technique, effort, and aggression.

Rui is key though. My hope is that with Wes teaching him he might pick up technique, habits, skills and confidence at this end of the court. He is not scared of contact on offense, seems to relish it, if he knew what to do at this end of the court I think he could be a real danger in the paint as well as locking in on the opponents big scorers.

Again, as in all the rest, much is up to Wes, but still, think back on all the years when we said we needed to upgrade our defense, but still did nothing in the offseason. This is 2 years in a row where Tommy has added players who look like difference makers at this end of the court. I think we may prove a frustrating team to face against teams who rely heavily on any one player for the bulk of their offense.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#125 » by payitforward » Sat Sep 4, 2021 12:22 am

Good stuff, doc.

The nut to crack is minutes. Unless a player is on the floor, his defensive abilities don't help his team. & to get on the floor for meaningful minutes, he needs to produce on offense too.

Let's look at the 3 guys we just got from the Lakers:

KCP -- last year he averaged 28.4 minutes a game with the Lakers. Almost all of those minutes were at the 2, where he was their starter. I guess we should assume that he'll start at the 3 for us, but also move over to the 2 for some of his minutes when Brad is off the floor.

Kuzma -- last year he averaged 28.75 minutes a game playing about half at the 3 & half at the 4. If we've moved KCP to the 3, Kuzma will mostly be at the 4 if he's going to play that many minutes. At this point in his career, he's a better player than Rui -- a fair amount better -- hence... does he start over Rui Hachimura? What happens to Deni in that case?

Harrell -- Montrezl played 23 minutes/game for the Lakers at Center & was extremely effective. In fact, all three of our Centers -- Bryant, Harrell & Gafford -- have been exceptionally productive on the floor in their careers. We don't know how many minutes Gafford can handle, & Bryant's return is uncertain as is the amount of time it'll take him to round into form. So there's some room for things to develop. But, if things go well for Gafford & Bryant, then what?

Well... actually, Harrell played PF his first 3 years in the league. But, once again we run into the problem of minutes for Rui. Plus, Harrell cannot stretch the floor. Hard to imagine him at the 4 with Gafford on the floor at the 5. But, I do think it's possible that he & Bryant could play together, Thomas being an excellent 3-point shooter.

In all, there are some non-trivial rotation problems with this roster. Doesn't mean they can't be solved, but it'll be interesting to see how Wes deals with them.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#126 » by doclinkin » Sat Sep 4, 2021 3:13 pm

payitforward wrote:Good stuff, doc.

The nut to crack is minutes. Unless a player is on the floor, his defensive abilities don't help his team. & to get on the floor for meaningful minutes, he needs to produce on offense too.

...

In all, there are some non-trivial rotation problems with this roster. Doesn't mean they can't be solved, but it'll be interesting to see how Wes deals with them.


Okay again I am trying the line-up that beat Philly for us in our only playoff win this year. That means start Bertans, Dinwiddie in Westbrook's spot. Only play Bertans with Gafford.

Starters:
Dinwiddie SD26
Beal
Bertans
Rui
Gafford

1st sub:
Beal
KCP
Kuz
Rui
Harrell

Also earning minutes:
1G: Neto/Holi. spot minutes for SD26
2G: Neto/Holi. in small ball sets only, bumping a big forward down.
F1: KCP next to Beal & SD26 in the regular rotation.
F2: Kuzma. Deni. Bryant in Big lines, if he proves he can play next to Gafford/Harrell.
C: Bryant until he takes minutes from others by his play.

Minutes wise:

PG: Dinwiddie is coming back from injury, so if he gets 5 minutes of rest/quarter he is playing 28 minutes to start the year. Even in his best year he only played 30 minutes/game.

The better of Holiday/Neto pick up 16-20 minutes in spot duty. Whichever player is handling the ball & passing better, or defending the point of attack against dominant PGs. Possibly Beal takes a few minutes here to play next to KCP while remaining remain big on the wings, maybe 4 mins total.

SG:
Beal seems to play 36 minutes a game every year. The presence of KCP suggests he might get a bit more rest, but if we say he gets a 3:30 minute break at the end of the 1st and into the 2nd, likewise 3rd->4th, he is playing 34 minutes, even if he steals some minutes at pg. KCP picks up 14-18 minutes here (18 if Beal spends time at the ballhandling floor captain spot) more if Beal needs more rest on a given night, or we need more defense.

F1 (perimeter forward):
Split between Bertans/Kuzma/KCP. One of Bertans or Kuzma will play the bulk of the minutes depending on whose shot is on or if we need more defense. The role here is motion on the perimeter, being sprung free for catch and shoot, or posted wide as 3Pt threats. If Bertans/Kuzma trade off the bulk of 40 minutes call it 20 minutes for Bertans, 18 for Kuz, KCP gets 10 more here.

F2 (interior forward, attacking forward):
Rui, Kuzma. Deni? The role here is driving towards the interior off screening action, backdoor cuts, pick and roll, etc. Rui takes 32 minutes, Kuz takes 14 more here. Small Ball takes 2 minutes here and there (Neto/Holi, Din, Beal, KCP, Gafford). If Deni works his way into the rotation as a screener and playmaker, those minutes come from Rui.

C:
Gafford 20 min Harrell 22 min Bryant 6 min until he works back to form.

If Bryant and Harrell can play next to each other, he takes some of the Rui minutes. If Bryant has improved D and plays well with the perimeter defenders he re-takes a starter role bit by bit, taking minutes from Harrell (18) and Rui (30), Bertans (2 min, since in my lines he would play only with Gafford behind him).

That gives our centers an even 18 mins each in games where Bryant and Harrell/Gafford can share the floor (against the Superheavy teams that go large or have a less mobile center. Like PHI, LAL, Bucks, maybe DEN). We get high effort high energy minutes from our trio of centers, whichever one is having an impact or is not in foul trouble will take minutes from the others, the same way Bertans and Kuz trade minutes at the perimeter forward spot.


On Ball 1G: SD26 Dinwiddie 28mins, Neto/Holi 16 mins, Beal 4 mins
Off Guard 2G: Beal 30 mins, KCP 18 mins,
Perimeter 1F: Bertans 18-20 mins Kuzma 18-20 mins KCP 10 mins.
Drive/Roll 2F: Rui 28-32 mins Kuzma 14-18 mins, Small ball/Big Line: 2min-6mins,
C: Gafford 18-20 mins, Harrell 18-22 mins, Bryant 6-18 mins (recovery-->starter, + Big lines if he is playable next to a c).
Wildcard: Deni earns increasing PT, takes minutes from all players at the forward spots.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#127 » by SUPERBALLMAN » Sun Sep 5, 2021 2:44 pm

payitforward wrote:Good stuff, doc.

The nut to crack is minutes. Unless a player is on the floor, his defensive abilities don't help his team. & to get on the floor for meaningful minutes, he needs to produce on offense too.

Let's look at the 3 guys we just got from the Lakers:

KCP -- last year he averaged 28.4 minutes a game with the Lakers. Almost all of those minutes were at the 2, where he was their starter. I guess we should assume that he'll start at the 3 for us, but also move over to the 2 for some of his minutes when Brad is off the floor.

Kuzma -- last year he averaged 28.75 minutes a game playing about half at the 3 & half at the 4. If we've moved KCP to the 3, Kuzma will mostly be at the 4 if he's going to play that many minutes. At this point in his career, he's a better player than Rui -- a fair amount better -- hence... does he start over Rui Hachimura? What happens to Deni in that case?

Harrell -- Montrezl played 23 minutes/game for the Lakers at Center & was extremely effective. In fact, all three of our Centers -- Bryant, Harrell & Gafford -- have been exceptionally productive on the floor in their careers. We don't know how many minutes Gafford can handle, & Bryant's return is uncertain as is the amount of time it'll take him to round into form. So there's some room for things to develop. But, if things go well for Gafford & Bryant, then what?

Well... actually, Harrell played PF his first 3 years in the league. But, once again we run into the problem of minutes for Rui. Plus, Harrell cannot stretch the floor. Hard to imagine him at the 4 with Gafford on the floor at the 5. But, I do think it's possible that he & Bryant could play together, Thomas being an excellent 3-point shooter.

In all, there are some non-trivial rotation problems with this roster. Doesn't mean they can't be solved, but it'll be interesting to see how Wes deals with them.


You forgot about Bertans?
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#128 » by payitforward » Sun Sep 5, 2021 3:30 pm

Didn't mean to... I was just covering the 3 from the Lakers; other players came up in my mind only as they impinged on those guys.

That said... see my next post.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#129 » by payitforward » Sun Sep 5, 2021 4:09 pm

doclinkin wrote:
payitforward wrote:Good stuff, doc.

The nut to crack is minutes.... there are some non-trivial rotation problems with this roster. Doesn't mean they can't be solved, but it'll be interesting to see how Wes deals with them.


Okay again I am trying the line-up that beat Philly for us in our only playoff win this year. That means....

Well... maybe when a team has just beaten you by 54 points in 2 games, including a 29-pt. thrashing on your own court, & that team is coming in up 3-0 in the series... it's time for them to relax, & you get to win that game -- if for no other reason, then at least so that they can close out at home.

IOW, I'm doubtful that it matters in the slightest who we started that night. Especially given the fact that the game was won by a) Rui Hachimura's best ever NBA outing, & b) the best 19 minutes of Robin Lopez's long career - & Robin's not with us any more.

In any case, your starting 5 may still be the best. But, I'm approaching this "minutes" question from a different angle.

To me, if we are going to get the most out of our players' abilities, this is about how much we need them to play on the 82-game season. Obviously, it's a rough estimate.

Beal 2700
Neto 1000
Gafford 1600 (more if he can handle it)
Harrell 1500 (I'm assuming he can play some minutes at the 4 with Bryant at the 5)
Kuzma 1750
KCP 1800
Dinwiddie 2100 (more would be better, but he's coming off injury....)
Holiday 1000
Rui 2100 (not because he "deserves" this many, but because we need to develop our young guys)
Deni 1250 (same reasoning as for Rui)
Bryant 1400 (more would be better; I'm assuming this is the max we can hope for given his recovery schedule)
Bertans 1500 (I would play him less, but practically speaking this is the minimum he'll get)

Now, this is pretty abstract. There are lots of ways it might go wrong -- both the distribution of minutes and also the effect on our win-loss record.

Still, given this distribution of minutes, & assuming nobody has an out-of-character bad year, I think we might win 45 games -- maybe as many as 47.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#130 » by doclinkin » Sun Sep 5, 2021 9:06 pm

payitforward wrote:
doclinkin wrote:
payitforward wrote:Good stuff, doc.

The nut to crack is minutes.... there are some non-trivial rotation problems with this roster. Doesn't mean they can't be solved, but it'll be interesting to see how Wes deals with them.


Okay again I am trying the line-up that beat Philly for us in our only playoff win this year. That means....


I'm doubtful that it matters in the slightest who we started that night.

In any case, your starting 5 may still be the best. But, I'm approaching this "minutes" question from a different angle.


To review: I am basing the Bertans starting line-up on the overall +/- effect of the players on the team. Bertans and Gafford had the highest +/- of any player on the squad. Bertans was worth +6pts./100 possessions over opponents, Gafford was worth +10.

To my way of thinking it makes sense to find minutes for a guy who has an Elite skill, even if it means playing him ahead of a player who is a more complete player but who does nothing in an unstoppable way. The 'unstoppable' players draw more attention and let you control the action while teams react to that skill. Pairing him with Gafford shores up the key weakness of Bertans, and strengthens Gafford's by providing attack and passing lanes for perimeter players to bring the ball to the big guy.

The minutes were calculated by trying to translate the minutes per game of the last year a player was on court into a useful rotation. With a deeper bench you may have to shave minutes here or there. But without radical drop off I was trying to approximate how they had played to this point.

Dinwiddie: 31 mins (19-20) but coming off injury. (28 mins).
Beal: 36 mins the last 4 years, but was unable to give full effort on D. (34 mins).
Bertans: averaging 27 minutes in DC, but we are deeper behind him than ever, splitting minutes with Kuz/KCP, and tying his PT to Gafford, (20 mins as a starter, but quick sub for Kuzma).
Hachimura: averaging 30 minutes and we have no strong forward behind him, unless a Harrell/Bryant combo can be played. (30 mins)
Gafford: the 18 minutes per game he played in DC was his highest average number of minutes, maybe he can average 20 as a starter.

KCP: avg 27 minutes in LA, but he is our only back-up to Beal, may find small ball minutes at SF, (28 mins).
Kuzma: avg 30 minutes for his career, but as the primary swing forward he earns significant minutes at both positions and seems poised to play high minutes, probably starting SF a significant number of games. His first 2 years in the league he played more than his last couple. (~32 mins. but could lose some minutes to Deni, as could Hachimura).
Harrell: 23 mins in LA, but we are deep at center if all 3 are healthy, I had him 18-22 minutes depending on if he can play PF a few possessions per game.
Bryant: recovering from injury the stamina of Bigs tends to drop off, he's averaged 22 mins in DC. I had him at as many as 18 minutes as he regains his cardio.

Holiday/Neto: Holiday has averaged 18 minutes for his career, Neto 22 minutes. Either/or with these two. I'd bet Neto earns the minutes unless Holiday's defense vs 1-3 proves a real asset.

That's an 11 player rotation which is large. Most teams don't play significant minutes for more than 8-9 guys a night. Adding Deni would make 12, which is awkward. No player getting in much of a rhythm.

I suspect one way we use our depth is to give players more rest days off when we can afford to. That way we can showcase players against teams they might match up well with, and their stats look better for potential trade partners since their per game average will be higher than if they divvy the minutes into smaller slices of pie.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#131 » by doclinkin » Sun Sep 5, 2021 9:11 pm

Much comes down to player chemistry. Who plays well with each other, vs if the team can afford to stagger their scoring so they always have a balanced squad on the floor. I read a good article on 538 about trends on this score. Hang on. Here it is.

The Denver Nuggets approach things the same way, largely attaching Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray in the rotation. So great is the chemistry between their two stars, it makes sense to have them spend most of their floor time alongside each other.

...

Naturally, constructing a rotation gets a bit more complicated if your team has more than two foundational players. With three rotation pillars, a coach has more options. Fully matching three players’ minutes seems somewhat silly. If you can spend somewhere between most and all of the game with at least one of your three best guys on the floor, why wouldn’t you do it? Still, coaches can take different paths to get there.

The Milwaukee Bucks, for example, employ something like a three-man stagger between Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, who each average between 32.5 and 33.8 minutes a night.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#132 » by JAR69 » Sun Sep 5, 2021 9:49 pm

doclinkin wrote:I suspect one way we use our depth is to give players more rest days off when we can afford to. That way we can showcase players against teams they might match up well with, and their stats look better for potential trade partners since their per game average will be higher than if they divvy the minutes into smaller slices of pie.


The related piece is that calculating a player's minutes per game played doesn't take into account missed games for injuries and planned rest. Many of the Wizards' key players missed notewothy time last year, and that is excluding Bryant (who missed time the previous year). Beal missed 12 of 72 games, Bertans missed 15, as did Hachimura, Avdija missed 18, and Gafford missed 6 of the 29 games he was on the roster for. All those missed games give players down the depth chart the opportunity to play starter-type minutes. That is, if Dinwiddie is getting rest on back end of back-to-back, Holiday and Neto will mostly split the 48 minutes at PG, exceeding their averages significantly. Conversely, in games in which most players are healthy, they may not get their average minutes.

It may be better to think about it in terms of minutes played per total team games. For Beal, that means he played just under 30 minutes per game (2147 total minutes/72 games), not the almost 36 minutes per game is games he actually played in. Bertans was at just over 20 minutes (1464 total minutes/72 games) - not the almost 26 minutes per game. Adding up all the minutes per total games (72 games) of the Wizards top 12 players, and using 2019-20 for Dinwiddie and Bryant since they were out all of (or almost all of) last season, I came up with about 261 minutes per total team game (fact-check welcomed). OTOH, using minutes per game played for each player, it is almost 310 minutes. So while players will still need to cut some minutes, and this doesn't take into account garbage time minutes, the amount that needs to be shaved to get to the 240 minutes available per game isn't all that much.

In other words, on days when everyone is available, there will be a logjam. But it seems to me that won't be the case many days.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#133 » by payitforward » Mon Sep 6, 2021 2:43 am

Both of the last two seasons were shortened. In the 3 prior years, Beal totaled 8684 minutes -- over 35 minutes per game. One of those years he led the NBA in total minutes.

Over those 3 years he missed a total of 5 games.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#134 » by JAR69 » Mon Sep 6, 2021 10:27 am

That's right - Beal missed only 5 games those three seasons. But those were his age 23, 24, and 25 seasons. In his age 28 season, I would expect him to miss far more games than that based on planned rest and minor injury. The same is almost certainly true for Dinwiddie coming back from a major injury, and of course Bryant most likely won't even be playing the first month of the season, and will need minutes managed when he does start playing. I'm also leaving out the possibility of covid - players actually getting it and protocols.

I'm not saying there isn't a minutes issue to manage, just that it may not be as serious as we fear.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#135 » by Ruzious » Mon Sep 6, 2021 11:28 am

The minutes issue is really at the forwards and - when Bryant returns - at center.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#136 » by payitforward » Mon Sep 6, 2021 5:27 pm

JAR69 wrote:That's right - Beal missed only 5 games those three seasons. But those were his age 23, 24, and 25 seasons. In his age 28 season, I would expect him to miss far more games than that based on planned rest and minor injury. The same is almost certainly true for Dinwiddie coming back from a major injury, and of course Bryant most likely won't even be playing the first month of the season, and will need minutes managed when he does start playing. I'm also leaving out the possibility of covid - players actually getting it and protocols.

I'm not saying there isn't a minutes issue to manage, just that it may not be as serious as we fear.

Fair enough. In fact, overall he/we probably would be better off if he didn't play as many minutes. Maybe cut down the possibility of injury.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#137 » by doclinkin » Tue Sep 7, 2021 4:30 am

_._.|_._._._._1st._._._._._._.|_._._._._2nd._._._._|_._._._._3rd._._._._|_._._._._4th._._._._|
1G |SD xxxxxxx BB xx RN|RN xxx SD xxxxxx|
2G |BB xxxxxxx kcp xxxx|kcp xx BB xxxxxx|
1F |DB xxxxxxx Kk xxxxx|Kk xxx Kcp xxxxx|
2F |RH xxxxxxxxx DA xxx|DA xx Kk xxxxxx|
Ce |DG xxxxxxx MH xxxx |MH xxx DG xxxxx|

Here's a 1st half rotation idea I like:
Starters: twin attackers, floor warping sniper, man-on defender in Rui, rearline help in Gafford.

2nd line: a few minutes with Brad as primary ball handler when Dinwiddie takes an early rest and KCP jumps into Brad's role. Then a complete line change, hockey style.

Here you lose Bertan's hard to stop quickshot but add ranged shooting at all 3 perimeter spots. Playmaking duties are shared as all players can handle a little bit, or move to get open on the short pass, backdoor cuts, etc.

This 2nd line is deep in ball smarts and should have good chemistry. The LA corps join the veteran Neto; Deni gets to play with experienced NBA ballers who understand team play. Pick and roll with Trez has space to operate. Your smartest most experienced defenders are on this line, with good size 2-4, making up for some of the deficiencies of Trez. There's enough outside shooting that teams won't necessarily go Big against this crew. Since both Trez and Deni initiate action from the top of the key they will draw bigs away from the paint. Opposing coaches may not choose to use a goliath in the middle if he will have to chase mobile guys to the outside. Screens and picks and motion spring the shooters free, Trez blows by slower bigs and attacks the basket.

The 2nd quarter finishes with an experienced line up with our two attacking ball handlers, 2 shooters/defenders, and our best rearline big. The lanes are open, threats on either side, a finisher in the middle.

One thing I am missing from this is a line where Dinwiddie and Harrell can play together with shooters all around. My read is these two will have good chemistry on offense.

SD
Beal
KCP/Bertans
Kuz/Bertans
Trez

Seems like it has promise as a 'small ball' squad, if you can count two 6'10" perimeter players as small.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#138 » by CobraCommander » Tue Sep 7, 2021 1:23 pm

What a great problem to have...fighting for minutes at all positions and knowing the other guy could legit start over you...everywhere except 2 there is parity
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#139 » by DCZards » Tue Sep 7, 2021 1:44 pm

CobraCommander wrote:What a great problem to have...fighting for minutes at all positions and knowing the other guy could legit start over you...everywhere except 2 there is parity

...except 2 and 1. I think Dinwiddie is a lock to be our best PG. But your overall point is well-taken. The talent that was lost in trading a HOFer like Russ was more than made up for it, imo, by the genuine depth that the Zards now have. Looking forward to seeing how young Wes brings all the pieces (and minutes challenge) together.
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Re: Line-ups, rotation, analysis thread. 

Post#140 » by doclinkin » Tue Sep 7, 2021 3:03 pm

DCZards wrote:
CobraCommander wrote:What a great problem to have...fighting for minutes at all positions and knowing the other guy could legit start over you...everywhere except 2 there is parity

...except 2 and 1. I think Dinwiddie is a lock to be our best PG. But your overall point is well-taken. The talent that was lost in trading a HOFer like Russ was more than made up for it, imo, by the genuine depth that the Zards now have. Looking forward to seeing how young Wes brings all the pieces (and minutes challenge) together.


There's no competition at all at 2. Beal is it, KCP is our back-up. Maybe Dinwiddie can get minutes there.

At 1 there is competition not for the starting spot, but there is competition. I am curious who wins out for the primary 2nd PG between Neto and Holiday. I'd like to see who wins out not just to play next to Beal or back-ups but who proves a good fit next to Dinwiddie in those spot minutes.

Everywhere else there is competition not just for starting position but for back up minutes.

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