This post is simply a resubmission of a comment I made in the recap thread following the last preseason game against the Magic. I'm presenting it again as a Fan Post at the suggestion of JRW. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts about the preseason, with just one game left, and only one week before tabulations take on a whole new meaning.
I wasn’t able to see the game today. So I’ll need to do some speculating from Guyer’s summary, and also the box score. I do want to make a couple of comments about the preseason so far. Also, I would like some help in understanding what Pop is doing this preseason. I encourage any of you that are interested to speculate for/with me.
Generally speaking, during this preseason, it seems as though Pop has cared much more about the 1st two thirds of the game, and thus so far does not appear to be using the preseason to gauge a 4th quarter/close-out team whatsoever. As a result, the players that he plays the most during the first two thirds of the game are the ones that he (1), expects to be in the regular rotation come opening day, and (2), ones that he needs to take a good look at to see where they’ll best fit on the depth chart, and in specific unit combinations, and (3), to see if a camp guy will is able to play well enough to crack the 15th spot on the roster.
I’d like to use DJB as an example of my confusion with what Pop’s doing in the preseason. Using tonight’s game as a starting point, it looks like Blair again played little to no time in the 1st half, played about a third of his minutes in the 3rd quarter, and played about two thirds of his minutes in the 4th quarter (this usage appears to be somewhat regular for him during this preseason). Thus, Blair played little time in the area of the game that Pop seems to be interested in. In addition, he seems to be paired with smaller players, weaker defenders, and less talent and experience overall at the PG spot. I don’t know about you, but this playing-time regimen looks like a recipe for failure, not only for DJB individually, but for the team as a whole during his time on the court. In fact, I’d be surprised if his +/- numbers were even half-way reasonable. I’m also surprised that De Juan’s individual production numbers have been as good as they have under such wacky usage scenarios.
Here’s where I encourage others to jump in with some ideas and speculation. In general, what is Pop trying to accomplish for the team in this postseason? Is Blair officially in his doghouse? If so, what would you speculate are the reasons? And not only for Blair, but at this point how do you see our depth chart at present, 1-15 (through Pops eyes)? Do you agree with that depth chart? Why, or why not?
I find it hard to believe that De Juan Blair is not in the top 10-11 on this team, and yet it appears from the preseason that he’s not. If that’s the case, and there’s not something going on that I don’t know about, IMHO I think that’s a huge mistake on Pop’s part. What say you?