Matt over at blog-a-bull had a rebuttal to my theory on starting Gibson. Matt's probably right, and I'm probably vastly over-thinking the rotation for little reason.
His keypoints were:
- I never thought I'd see Scott Skiles' self-sabotage as a positive example of strategy...
- being completely blind to the franchise tailspin
- to start Taj Gibson makes no sense.....He's not nearly as good as Tyrus (amazing
and a bit detestable, that it's even become a discussion), and doesn't fit the team
- it just reaffirms how bizzare this season is, with a franchise trying to make the
playoffs while possibly stripping the whole thing down at the same time. Not to
mention Vinny Del Negro eager to screw up an obvious 7-man rotation he barely
needs to touch .
My point, which probably wasn't made as well as it should be is based on the following premises:
1) Brad Miller has limited effective minutes each night. He's our best big man, but we can't ride him for 36 minutes a game and have him play at a high level. Everyone plays better next to Miller, but those minutes are limited.
2) Gibson will play 12-15 minutes a night. If we don't play him next to Miller much, because we want to save Miller for key moments where Gibson likely won't be playing much anyway, then he plays next to Tyrus or Joakim. Of the two, it's better to play him next to Joakim.
If you play Gibson 12 minutes by starting him at the 1st and 3rd quarters, then you've now put all of his minutes in what's likely the ideal pairing for the team.
Matt blasts the idea of not starting Tyrus because he's more talented than Gibson. I agree. However, Miller and Noah are better players than Tyrus, but we won't start them because of what it does for the rotation not because of talent. As such, the coaching staff and fan base are already agreeing with the idea of basing the starting lineup on some level based on how it creates a positive team rotation.
My biggest fear if Gibson were to start is that it would become an excuse for him to play 20+ minutes a game rather than a way to put him in an ideal rotation. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating Gibson as the better play or as someone who needs to play more.
The second big fear is that it causes us to lose Tyrus mentally on the season. If that happens then it's probably not worth the risk either. One would hope that Tyrus would be fine as long as he's getting his minutes, but given that he's in a contract year it's not hard to understand why he wants the privilege of starting as it comes up in contract negotiations.
Also, while I think starting Gibson and only playing him 12 minutes would succeed despite being unorthodox. I'm certainly not opposed to just starting Tyrus/Noah and taking the major minute players happier.