moremilk

I don't think any are coming anytime soon (outside injury related and our usual center swap), but if there was one, what would you like to see?

As I mentioned a few times before, my favourite move would be to move siakam to the bench and OG back in the starting 5.

What I would hope to achieve with that is to

1. recreate the bench mob of last season that was so good (with JV instead of Poeltl)
2. create a better balance, we have too much talent in the starting 5 and not enough on the bench
3. perhaps OG may play better as a starter, as he's not having a great year, although that's probably not the reason why.


I think #2 is pretty indisputable, since Siakam is clearly better than OG now. Even if we'll never recapture that monster bench performance, it would give the bench more shot creation and would also allow siakam to fully use his playmaking skills.

For the starters, you lose a ball handler, but you gain a better 3pt shooter (on paper …). Defensively, it's probably a wash, I think OG is a bit better defensively, but siakam is more versatile and stronger. However, OG is outstanding at defending smaller guys, including point guards. 

The big concern would be rebounding, since we're already struggling and OG would make things worse. One solution would be to start JV more often, which also has the benefit of making Dan very happy. Or, we could just live with it, and hope that the gains elsewhere are enough to compensate.

If we could more or less maintain the excellent play of the starters and recapture 80% of what the bench did last year, we'd be able to sustain a high level performance for 48 minutes.

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DanH
Yeah, OG beside Serge is pretty non-viable. What I'd like to see is this:

You can still start Serge and Pascal most nights, though I'd lean closer to a 50-50 split. In any case, on Serge start nights, Serge and Pascal get the first 5 minutes with the starters, come back in for two minutes with the bench at the end of the Q, play the first 4 bench minutes in the 2nd Q, then rest for 5 minutes before closing out the final 3 minutes of the half. JV and OG take the other minutes. Repeat in 2nd half.

On JV start nights, much simpler, run JV and OG the first 8 minutes, then 4 to close the Q and 6 to start the 2nd Q for Serge and Pascal. 6 closing minutes for OG and JV. Repeat second half.

This sets up two rotations where the starters get 28 minutes and the bench gets 20. The entire front court rotation ideally edges towards 24 minutes each on average. But with Nurse likely using the Serge pairing more often, it's more like 26 per game for Serge/Pascal and 22 for JV/OG.

The back court is pretty set, and will be the area where the rotation shrinks come playoffs. For now, you keep rolling the same starting backcourt of Lowry-Green-Kawhi. And bench back court of Wright-FVV-Miles, though Norm might challenge Miles for those minutes. Important thing is to make sure that bench backcourt has the extra ball handling from Siakam.

I'd keep the frontcourt handcuffed together. Siakam can play with JV, though the fit is non-ideal. OG can't play with Serge. So the easiest thing is to pair them up and keep it that way.
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Northern Neighbour
I wouldn't change the starting lineup. The main four + one of JV or Ibaka is killing the opposition. I've said this many times, but the key is just getting the bench to play better. One way to do that is to stagger some of the minutes better. Nurse started playing Siakam more with the bench, but he's gone away from that the past two games. One of Leonard or Siakam should always be on the court.

I like Dan's idea (from another thread) regarding Wright being the PG for the 2nd unit with FVV playing more off the ball. Wright's ability to get into the lane consistently should lead to more open looks. He will need to, however, shoot more 3s if his defender goes under the screen.

It might also be worth tightening the rotation to 9 guys with Miles being the odd man out. He's been a negative-impact player for all but I think 2 games this year.

The team should also only use the 3-PG lineup in desperate situations. There's enough wing depth now that there isn't a need to play Lowry, Wright, and FVV at the same time.

Finally, probably an unpopular thing to say (especially with LX), I would suggest stop using FVV down the stretch - at least for now until he put together a solid string of games together. Since going 6-6 against Memphis, he's shooting 27.8% (10-36), including 19% from 3 (4-21). With the team's late-game execution still a work-in-progress (and that's being generous) on both ends of the court, go with a longer, more athletic lineup, especially defensively (so Lowry, Green, Leonard, Siakam, and Ibaka) and stick with your best shooters, scorers, and screeners offensively (the big four + JV).

Oh, and don't use OG and FVV in any final lineup. Both are part of the five-worst lineups on the team. The two are also the worst two-man combination on the team. A surprising second-worst is Wright and FVV.
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Raptorman
I want to see an alternate reality where FVV hits that last shot. Maybe we wouldnt have all these chicken little threads. 
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LeBronIsYourDaddy
 OG has been bad and cant hit 3s this year. Our starting lineup is what has won us most games. I dont see how changing that is gonna help us. The bench cant hit 3s, neither can Siakam. It may just make our starting unit much worse and our bench slightly better. A net negative. I wouldnt even consider it tbh and i highly doubt Nurse is. Siakam is our starting 4 now and into the distant future as far as im concerned.
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Ball Don't Lie
More Lowry with the bench unit(take him out 6 minutes into the game)and him trying to be the primary scorer in those lineups. 
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shadowfax
21 and 6
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elT
I'd like to force more all-bench line ups and see to it that they develop chemistry and identity. There's more than enough talent there that should fit well enough with either C. If we lose, we lose, don't care really, I'd prefer maximizing our potential to chasing home-court.
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Pzabby_2nd
Ball Don't Lie wrote:
More Lowry with the bench unit(take him out 6 minutes into the game)and him trying to be the primary scorer in those lineups. 


Not a bad idea at all.
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moremilk
DanH wrote:
Yeah, OG beside Serge is pretty non-viable. What I'd like to see is this:

You can still start Serge and Pascal most nights, though I'd lean closer to a 50-50 split. In any case, on Serge start nights, Serge and Pascal get the first 5 minutes with the starters, come back in for two minutes with the bench at the end of the Q, play the first 4 bench minutes in the 2nd Q, then rest for 5 minutes before closing out the final 3 minutes of the half. JV and OG take the other minutes. Repeat in 2nd half.

On JV start nights, much simpler, run JV and OG the first 8 minutes, then 4 to close the Q and 6 to start the 2nd Q for Serge and Pascal. 6 closing minutes for OG and JV. Repeat second half.

This sets up two rotations where the starters get 28 minutes and the bench gets 20. The entire front court rotation ideally edges towards 24 minutes each on average. But with Nurse likely using the Serge pairing more often, it's more like 26 per game for Serge/Pascal and 22 for JV/OG.

The back court is pretty set, and will be the area where the rotation shrinks come playoffs. For now, you keep rolling the same starting backcourt of Lowry-Green-Kawhi. And bench back court of Wright-FVV-Miles, though Norm might challenge Miles for those minutes. Important thing is to make sure that bench backcourt has the extra ball handling from Siakam.

I'd keep the frontcourt handcuffed together. Siakam can play with JV, though the fit is non-ideal. OG can't play with Serge. So the easiest thing is to pair them up and keep it that way.


we don't actually know that OG/Ibaka is non-viable as a starter combination. We know it doesn't work very well with the bench unit, but that's likely due to the lack of creativity in the back court. We also know that OG + JV worked very well last year.

Really, the only area that it's likely to be a big problem is rebounding, and is siakam that much better a rebounder than OG? 

I mentioned this as well, staggering siakam's minutes in order to play more with the bench is much easier to do and has the advantage it doesn't mess up with the starter label that may introduce tensions. It gives us a way to test the idea (because we don't know if siakam with the bench will fix anything, we just assume it based on last year's experience), and it only changes the rotations slightly, so it's easier to implement.

I'd be ok with either approach, but my belief is that Siakam as a full time bench guy would be ideal, I kind of see your approach as a compromise - unless the OG/Ibaka pairing is so terrible on the boards as to make it unplayable, which I personally doubt.
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moremilk
Northern Neighbour wrote:
I wouldn't change the starting lineup. The main four + one of JV or Ibaka is killing the opposition. I've said this many times, but the key is just getting the bench to play better. One way to do that is to stagger some of the minutes better. Nurse started playing Siakam more with the bench, but he's gone away from that the past two games. One of Leonard or Siakam should always be on the court.

I like Dan's idea (from another thread) regarding Wright being the PG for the 2nd unit with FVV playing more off the ball. Wright's ability to get into the lane consistently should lead to more open looks. He will need to, however, shoot more 3s if his defender goes under the screen.

It might also be worth tightening the rotation to 9 guys with Miles being the odd man out. He's been a negative-impact player for all but I think 2 games this year.

The team should also only use the 3-PG lineup in desperate situations. There's enough wing depth now that there isn't a need to play Lowry, Wright, and FVV at the same time.

Finally, probably an unpopular thing to say (especially with LX), I would suggest stop using FVV down the stretch - at least for now until he put together a solid string of games together. Since going 6-6 against Memphis, he's shooting 27.8% (10-36), including 19% from 3 (4-21). With the team's late-game execution still a work-in-progress (and that's being generous) on both ends of the court, go with a longer, more athletic lineup, especially defensively (so Lowry, Green, Leonard, Siakam, and Ibaka) and stick with your best shooters, scorers, and screeners offensively (the big four + JV).

Oh, and don't use OG and FVV in any final lineup. Both are part of the five-worst lineups on the team. The two are also the worst two-man combination on the team. A surprising second-worst is Wright and FVV.


I absolutely agree with delon being the ball handler, he's clearly better than fred, was so last season too, and it's not particularly close. Delon is quicker and a better passer, fred is a better scorer and shooter. Delon starts the attack and once the defense starts to shift, fred can exploit the gaps that open, or take an open 3.

As for not playing OG, Miles, Fred like you mentioned, I have to believe they're doing it to experiment and give those guys confidence. At no point this season did I get the feeling that nurse is desperate to win a particular game. And it makes sense, since he's a rookie coach who probably has tons of ideas he wants to try with very little time to do it. 

We've seen how when things got a bit threatening, like in that 3 game slide, he tightened the rotations and playing time overnight, that move really calmed me because it shown that he's not unaware that it's not working - instead he's trying to get it to work, as long as it doesn't cost us too much.

Finally, I think the reason he's playing fred or those 3 PG lineups is handling, because outside of kawhi and siakam, our wings are terrible ball handlers. And neither siakam or kawhi are really good handlers, like demar was for example. Green, Miles, Ibaka and JV are essentially non ball-handlers, they have 0 ability, while OG is close to that level. So I kind of understand why he feels we need at least 3 of kyle/fred/delon/kawhi/siakam on the floor at any given time.
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moremilk
elT wrote:
I'd like to force more all-bench line ups and see to it that they develop chemistry and identity. There's more than enough talent there that should fit well enough with either C. If we lose, we lose, don't care really, I'd prefer maximizing our potential to chasing home-court.


sure, but which bench lineup, the current one (delon/fred/og/miles/jv), or a different one?

Also, keep in mind that all bench lineups can't be played in the playoffs, where kawhi and kyle will play 38-40 minutes or more, and siakam will probably get in the mid 30s as well. 

I don't see our playoff rotation extending beyond 9 guys, at best, and all bench units are a no-no in the playoff. So playing a full bench unit now is not going to help you a lot in the playoff I think, even if it works great during the regular season. 
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