So, I think we can all agree that Game 1 was a disaster in terms of rotations. Salmons? Hayes? A little Hansbrough was OK, but unnecessary with our strong frontline 3 big rotation.
Game 2 was much, much better. Fields in was a stroke of genius (or pretty obvious, depending on who you ask) - well, it was the right decision regardless. Tightening the rotation to 8 also worked out very well.
So, I went through game 2 to figure out the Nets sub patterns, and based on those, I thought I'd go through what I think are the ideal matchup lineups to use throughout the game.
So, here are my suggestions. I put it in a simple spreadsheet format, progressing from left to right with the sub times up top. The Nets subs are approximations of what they used in game 2, so obviously there has to be come flexibility since that might change, but I think the matchups can be managed like this even if there are some differences in their rotation.
Casey did a good job last game, but I'd like to see him do more of:
- Lowry-on-D-Will at all times. ALL times. Vasquez can't do it. Ross could do it sometimes, but tough to get the lineups to work at all positions.
- Quick subs for the bigs, keeping them fresh.
- Fields or Ross on JJ at all times. Never should DD be checking JJ. Ever. Fields only on when JJ is.
- Anytime you can run DD out there with no JJ cover, do it. Similarly, anytime you can get away with defensive matchups for DD and GV, get them on the floor. Anderson, Livingston, Thornton - these guys can be defended.
If the picture is too small, opening it in another window should help, hopefully.
The following section is a full explanation of the rotations and my logic.
1st Q: Starters as usual, Ross guarding JJ.
4 mins: Garnett subbed out here last game for Plumlee, but he might not until later. Fields for DD, Patman for Amir. Ross switches over to Livingston.
6 mins: Here is where they subbed Teletovic for Pierce and Anderson for Livingston. Anderson's an easy guard, so bring Vasquez in for some early minutes.
10 mins: They brought in Thornton for JJ here. Sub Amir in for JV to give him a breather. Amir-Patman can handle Plumlee/Teletovic. DD back in for Fields as JJ goes to the bench.
2nd Q: Lowry finally gets some rest as Williams sits. Patman chasing Pierce, Amir on Plumlee.
4:00: JJ checks back in for Anderson, Kirilenko in for Thornton, Blatche for Plumlee. Match up with Fields in for Ross (DD can guard Livingston, or better be able to) and JV for Patman (JV can handle Blatche in the post). Amir chases Pierce.
8:00: Williams back in, so Lowry is too. Teletovic in for Pierce, Garnett in for Plumlee. Patman comes back in for tired Amir to chase Teletovic. Ross in for DD to get a breather and to spread the floor (time for JV to go to work inside, with Teletovic not much of a help presence, and Ross dragging AK to the perimeter).
3rd Q: Nets and Raps run their starters, except Fields in for Ross. DD checks Livingston.
4:00: Vasquez in for DD, Ross in for Fields, Patterson in for Amir. Again, here or sometime later Garnett will check out for Plumlee, but it doesn't really matter when, as JV can handle either of them.
6:00: Here they checked Livingston out for Anderson. Assuming Garnett is sitting by now, good time to check JV out for some rest. Amir in at C.
8:00: Teletovic in for Pierce. Anderson is still on the court, so sub DD in for Vasquez and pray he can defend him better being fresh.
At this point, I've tried to keep everyone really fresh, especially with 3rd Q rest. DD has played only 22 minutes (necessitated by keeping him off JJ), so he's fresh as a daisy. JV likewise has played 24, and only 6 in the 3rd Q. So he should be good to go. Lowry is the exception, as he's matched Williams' playing time: two full quarters plus 4 minutes.
4th Q: Bench unit of Livingston, Anderson, Kirilenko, Teletovic, Plumlee. Raps counter with Vasquez (getting Lowry rest while we can), DD, Ross, Amir, JV. Should be able to do real damage against that unit.
4:00: May want to sub JV out for Patterson here for a couple minutes. No Nets subs last game. If DD is tired, can bring in Fields for DD.
6:00: Here is where the Nets brought their starters back in, mostly. D-Will, JJ, AK, Pierce, KG. Raps match with Lowry, Fields, DD, Patman, JV. DD checks AK.
10:00: Amir can check back in with a couple minutes left if Patman tires.
That breakdown is long, but as short as I could manage. The minutes end up like this:
With a couple minutes going from Patman to Amir if Amir checks back in to end the game.
The only 12 minute Q's are Lowry's 1st and 3rd, matching up with D-Will. Everyone else is limited to 8-10 minutes in a Q at most, with a couple 6-8 min Q's for everyone. The quarter by quarter breakdown is below, for a quick summary.
Lowry: 12 | 4 | 12 | 6
DD: 6 | 8 | 8 | 10
Ross: 6 | 8 | 8 | 6
Amir: 6 | 8 | 10 | 6
JV: 10 | 8 | 6 | 10
Vasquez: 6 | 8 | 4 | 6
Patterson: 8 | 8 | 8 | 8
Fields: 6 | 8 | 4 | 8
Now, obviously the Nets won't run the exact same rotation, but following the matchups I outlined would give a lot of balance, running most of the 8 man rotation fairly equal minutes, keeping legs fresh and maximizing matchup advantages.
So, thoughts, all? I imagine there will be complaints about DD coming out so early, but my intention is to give him more run against the bench unit to warm up (he's had a couple very slow starts) without giving back a bunch to JJ, and still getting him crunch time minutes. The Lowry 12 minute Q's are a problem for me, but I really don't like anyone else on D-Will. And his overall workload is below what he's played recently, so hopefully that balances it out.