Tom Thibodeau mentioned in his post-game press conference that he had no intention of switching up the lineup. Everyone is hinting about whether Bogans would get yanked to try and give the Bulls a better star, and Thibs defended Bogans with these comments. What's hard to understand about this is why this philosophy only applies to Bogans, the player most fans would pin many of the Bulls troubles on and like to see a reduction of minutes in.
However, Thibodeau isn't going to the chalk of what got him here.
|Player||MPG||MPG PO||PER||PER PO|
The table is sorted by minutes per game in the playoffs. Bogans has actually had a very slight uptick in minutes played (.2) while virtually every other bench player has had a downtick.
It's worth noting that part of the reason for the down tick with the big men was the extra minutes available while we had injuries. This is most notable for Thomas who typically racked up DNPs or played a lot of minutes, Thomas's minutes are also considerably on the rise if you just factor in 'healthy' lineups where everyone is playing while Gibson/Asik are on the decline in 'healthy' lineups.
From looking at the numbers and factoring for injuries, it would appear that Thibodeau has maintained or slightly increased the play of Korver, and the starters (including our main man Keith Bogans). He's given Thomas a considerable bump in terms of playing in a healthy lineup, and he's cut by a decent chunk the minutes of Watson, Brewer, Gibson, and Asik.
Most of this is fairly easy to reason out
Watson makes sense, because Derrick Rose is playing at an unreal level, and he's the best player on the team. Watson only plays to give Rose a blow, so there's nothing strange going on there.
What's going on with Taj/Asik/Thomas makes sense because Thomas has played really well, and the Bulls have really needed his toughness badly. I think Gibson could have had a little more burn over Boozer given Boozer's ineffectual play, but I completely get why Asik has mostly been dropped from the rotation in favor of Kurt Thomas.
Remember, there's also just fewer big man minutes available with Boozer/Noah both healthy.
The thing that doesn't make sense is Keith Bogans
Bogans has had his playing time stay exactly the same. He's done so despite having the largest PER drop off on the team (outside of Asik, but he's only played five minutes which doesn't really count). Outside of a pretty good third quarter in game two, Bogans has been gouge your eyes with a spoon bad.
Yet his playing time has stayed steady. Thibs has said he doesn't want to make a change, but he's been willing to cut Brewer's minutes, eliminate Asik from the rotation, bump up Kurt Thomas, and cut back on Gibson.
He's making adjustments to tweak the team played with every other lower MPG player except Keith Bogans despite the fact that Bogans has been the worst of the bunch by far thus far.
But Bogans is needed to defend Paul George, he'd eat Korver alive
Most people find this argument as ridiculous as me, but I've seen it floated around.
1: If the Pacers decide to ISO George on Korver, then good for us. George isn't one of their better offensive players, and if they screw up their whole game plan to go to him to take advantage of a matchup it would likely backfire huge.
2: Ronnie Brewer's even more capable of defending Paul George than Keith Bogans, so we could always not cut back his minutes by six per game and instead cut back Bogans minutes by six per game.
Thibs has done what almost every coach in the playoffs does.
1: He's tightening his rotation
2: He's going with his vets
In a vacuum these are good things, but I'm certainly boggled as to why you reduce Ronnie Brewer's role considerably and keep Bogans role the same when he's been perhaps the worst player in the playoff rotation thus far.
Why does every coach have a Bogans? A guy who makes the right decision almost all the time, but can not produce good results despite that fact? Why do they continue to play these guys so many minutes? Is there value in making the right decision when you can't hit a shot, and you put immense pressure on your teammates because no one guards you?
Maybe there is, but I don't really see it.