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10-Man Rotation?

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Pat Riley was always famous for trimming his rotations down to eight men for the playoffs. During the season, he'd dig deeper into his roster, but once the games started counting, he'd divvy up the available minutes among his starters and his three best reserves. I'm very curious to see what Coach DiLeo does with his own substitution patterns in the first round. After the jump we'll take a look at how he handed out minutes in the more important games during the regular season.

Since Elton Brand's injury, the Sixers have used, for the most part, a 10-man rotation:

  1. Andre Iguodala
  2. Andre Miller
  3. Thad Young
  4. Sam Dalembert
  5. Willie Green
  6. Lou Williams
  7. Marreese Speights
  8. Reggie Evans
  9. Royal Ivey
  10. Theo Ratliff
Sometimes, he's extended it to 11, adding in Donyell Marshall or Kareem Rush to help stretch the defense a little bit. Marshall has been effective when called upon, Rush has been a waste of space, for the most part.

Six players average better than 20 minutes, and ideally in this series, 5 would average over 30: Iguodala, Miller, Thad, Dalembert and Lou. Fouls are going to dictate how much time Dalembert plays, he averaged 24.8 minutes per in the regular season.

In their biggest wins of the season (@ LAL, @ Portland, vs. San Antonio), they really ran with an 8-man rotation of the five starters plus Lou Williams, Reggie Evans and Marreese Speights. They used other players, but not for more than 10 minutes.

If I had to guess, I'd say DiLeo is planning to trim his rotations further in this first round, but I doubt he'll have that luxury. Going in, you know Theo is going to have to play heavy minutes as Dalembert's backup/foul replacement. He'll probably go to Reggie Evans more often than he should. Personally, I think Evans' only value in this series are the six fouls he has to commit on Dwight Howard, and that should only take about six minutes of game action.

The big question mark for me is how much DiLeo will call upon Marreese Speights. I mentioned earlier that I like Speights at PF if Orlando goes with their big lineup. But otherwise, I just don't know if you can trot him out there when Rashard Lewis is the opposing PF. He does have those six fouls to give, so I suppose you could rotate him in at the five. I think he's another candidate to have his minutes cut.

Here's my best guess at the minute distribution for game 1:

  • Iguodala: 43
  • Miller: 40
  • Thad: 40
  • Lou: 30
  • Dalembert: 25
  • Willie: 20
  • Ratliff: 20
  • Evans: 12
  • Speights: 12
  • Ivey: 8
10 deep.

Anyone think DiLeo will try to cut the rotations further? Maybe get down to the traditional 8-man rotation for the playoffs?