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The 2018-19 rotation

Discussion in 'Mark Blount's Port Cellar: Celtics Forum' started by maufman, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. maufman

    maufman Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers Staff Member Dope Gold Supporter

    Some discussion of this in other threads, but I think it’s a worthy topic in its own right.

    The C’s have 10 players who could reasonably expect to play heavy minutes: Kyrie, Hayward, Horford, Tatum, Brown, Smart, Baynes, Rozier, MaMo, and Theis. Conventional wisdom says that’s one too many.

    Danny and Brad might believe they can buck the conventional wisdom. Kyrie and Hayward will probably combine for 15 healthy scratches (can’t see either playing more than 75 games), and Horford would benefit from similar treatment. Plus, Brad seems to give his 10th and 11th men more meaningful minutes than most coaches, even when the guys in those roles are shaky. So if you assume average injury luck (i.e., that the C’s are without one of these guys for a majority of their regular season games), perhaps there are enough minutes to go around.

    If Danny decides he’s got one man too many, the trade candidates would seem to be MaMo, Rozier, and Theis. (A blockbuster deal that shortens the rotation is also possible, but I’m personally not going to go down that speculative wormhole.) All are FAs next summer; the C’s will have matching rights as to Rozier and Theis. Rozier and MaMo have Bird rights; I’m not sure about Theis.

    I think Theis is the least likely to be dealt, as they’d be left without a conventional big on the roster if Baynes got hurt.

    We’ve discussed Rozier trades at length — he’s probably the most valuable trade asset of the three, and we’ll lose him for nothing next summer if Kyrie resigns, but we don’t know how confident Danny is about that happening.

    MaMo is the most easily replaceable (Semi would be an acceptable 10th man), but MaMo has little trade value imo, at least in terms of the kind of deal the C’s would want to do. Nobody is giving up a 1st round pick for MaMo. He’s an expiring contract, but teams that want those are looking to trade away guys who are under contract for longer periods, and the C’s definitely don’t want that. The C’s could exchange him for someone else’s rotation guy, but that doesn’t solve the problem. So if MaMo gets dealt, I think it’s just a salary dump.

    I’m in the “keep them all” camp, assuming a non-contender won’t give you a 1st rounder for Rozier, but that might be giving Brad too much credit for his ability to spread around minutes and keep everyone happy.

    What do y’all think?
  2. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

    Keep them all, rest stars a lot, and keep in mind that injuries will happen along the way. If a decent offer materializes for Rozier or Mook, be ready to pull the trigger (former is more likely obv).
  3. ifmanis5

    ifmanis5 Member SoSH Member

    Agreed with the above. I think they might be a little fazed by the injury bug from last season and the NBA trend over all seems to be more injuries. I expect them to go semi-Spurs with more games off for Kyrie, Hayward and Horford and more rest for the starters overall. Depth for next season will be an advantage like it was two years ago.
  4. bigq

    bigq Member SoSH Member

    A Western Conference team may want him as a defensive counter to LeBron (a role he seemed to do well with in the ECF but not so much for the rest of the series if I recall correctly) but I’m not sure what would possibly come back to the Celtics.
  5. ishmael

    ishmael Member SoSH Member

    If the C's break camp healthy, I could see MaMo+Rozier getting traded for future assets . You'd probably have to find a team that both has a trade exception for MaMo (which gets the C's under the luxury tax) and still has a desire to compete in 2018-2019.

    Just looking around the league, I'd say the T-Wolves seem like the best fit since they struggle to attract FAs, will be losing Jimmy Butler next summer, and already have a guard (Wiggins) who could pair well with Terry.

    The team acquiring Terry would have about one month (till October 31) to negotiate an extension (I think the security of something like 4 years, $72M probably gets it done).

    Portland is another possibility, but only if they trade one of Lilliard/McCollum first.

    In this scenario, Semi moves up to 10th man and Brad Wanamaker becomes the third PG.

    Rough minutes per game breakdown: Kyrie 32, Marcus 28, Wanamaker 10, Jaylen 32, Hayward 30, Tatum 32, Horford 30, Baynes 20, Theis 20, Semi 10.
  6. Jimbodandy

    Jimbodandy Member SoSH Member

    I think that guys will get more rest days than a lot of people are currently projecting.

    Brown, Tatum, and Ojeleye will all play the lion's share of games, but at least one will cap out at 70-72 due to a hammy or sprain or something. Horford and Smart will get some rest, just so they don't die from the beatings that their position (Horford) and style (Smart) bring them. Kyrie and Hayward will get rest days and extra recuperation/soreness days and may very well cap out at 65-68 games.

    If you start playing around in a spreadsheet only looking at 240MPG, it looks like a bigtime minutes crunch. But if you start weighting it by games played, it looks less so.

    edit: Apologies that this is a bit redundant to some of the conversation in the Smart thread. Just noticed.
    #6 Jimbodandy, Jul 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  7. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

    Did you mean Ojeleye? I'm not convinced he gets more burn than last year if everyone is healthy. It's possible he's not even in the rotation but I'd guess he will be. I see the Celtics trying to limit their 5 starters to 30-32 minutes a game, which leaves around 85-90 minutes for the bench. Smart gets 25-30, Baynes, Rozier and Morris would get 20ish each to finish out the 9 man rotation.

    Then you factor in a conservative (and easy to compute) 82 games of rest/injury for the 9 man rotation, which works out to another 30-32 minutes a game to divide up amongst the rest of the guys. I'd guess Semi and Theis play around 70 games and play roughly 12.5 mpg each. That still leaves another 902 minutes or 11 mpg for other guys and you are already 11 deep. Last year, the Celtics had 20 players suit up. Players 12-20 played a total of 1533 minutes, or 611 more than I have projected for players 12-xx this season.

    611 minutes is another 20-25 games missed by the 9 man rotation. Last year, the Celtics top 9 rotational players by total minutes played missed 110 games That doesn't include Gardin Heywurd. There will be plenty of minutes to go around.

    I said this in another thread, but if you are trying to find minutes for guys using just MPG, it is an impossible task. If you add up the MPG of Celtics last year, it comes up to roughly 360 MPG. There are only 240 in a game. Kyrie Irving missing 22 games last year allowed another player to pick up 708.4 minutes of play or 8.63 mpg.
  8. Jimbodandy

    Jimbodandy Member SoSH Member

    All of that sounds about right to me.

    I think that Ojeleye is lumped in with Brown and Tatum only because those guys don't "need" much rest due to a lack of mileage, and developmental time on court is more important. Rozier fits that also, except that he's a lame duck. Just from a DNP CD POV. I don't expect a minutes jump.

    As you note, injuries alone guarantee minutes. My guess is that they will be very conservative with Al and Smart because why not. And Kyrie and Hayward get the white glove treatment.

    We are at the point where the benefit of a couple of games played or a few mpg are less valuable than mitigating risk, mileage, and fatigue on the core.
  9. tbrown_01923

    tbrown_01923 Member SoSH Member

    I am guessing some nights off on back to backs. Horford's rest probably opens more minutes for Semi. While Hayward / Kyrie open more minutes for Smart / T-roze - or whatever. Regardless, count me as one that believes we will see scheduled rest.

    Also impacting minutes disbursement would be blow outs and folks having no real incentive to play banged up because of the depth (minus a couple who are in contract years).
  10. Devizier

    Devizier Member SoSH Member

    Tatum was last year's minutes leader with 2438 in 80 games. I don't see a reason for that to change a whole lot.

    Presuming excellent health, the Celtics' starters will cover about 60% of the minutes during the regular season. That leaves a lot of room for bench guys. A more realistic assessment probably has the opening day starters covering 50-55% of the minutes.
  11. the moops

    the moops Member SoSH Member

    I wouldn't classify Theis as anything close to a conventional big. Dude is same height as Morris and weighs about 20 pounds less.
  12. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    I said this in the other thread, but I think that with everyone healthy, the 10 guys Mauf listed int he OP are the ones who will play. I think 6 guys will be around 30 minutes (Kyrie, Horford, Hayward, Tatum, Jaylen, Smart) and 4 guys will be around 15 minutes (Rozier, Morris, Theis, Baynes).

    I think the end of the bench guys (Williams, Ojeleye, Yabusele, Wanamaker... Jabari Bird?) won't see regular minutes except during games when starters are resting, which I agree will happen frequently. Might see Williams and Ojeleye getting regular work in with the Red Claws.

    I also wonder if a guy like Hayward, given injury limitations, won't be in top condition and will play on a minutes restriction for a while.
  13. Devizier

    Devizier Member SoSH Member

    People are acting like its the NBA of 15+ years ago when you would ride your stars for 40+ MPG for 80+ games per year.

    It might be informative to look at this.
  14. maufman

    maufman Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers Staff Member Dope Gold Supporter

    So 3,000 minutes will put you somewhere around the league lead in minutes played these days, compared to 3,400 minutes 10-15 years ago.

    But here’s the thing — only 4 Celtics played 2,000 minutes last year, and no one played 2,500. I didn’t go through all 32 teams’ stats, but I’m guessing it’s uncommon to get so few minutes from your top 4-5 guys.

    If the top 5 guys average 75 GP and 30 min/gm, that’s 11,250 minutes — leaving only 8,430 minutes to be split among everyone else. If you assume Smart gets the same 2,250 as the starters and the guys on the end of the bench collectively play 1,500 minutes, that leaves only 4,680 minutes to be divided among Rozier, MaMo, Baynes, and Theis — or a shade over 14 min/gm apiece. Even if you assume 2,250 minutes of injuries for the top 6 (equivalent to losing one of them for the full season), and you give all those extra minutes to the next 4 guys, you’re still only giving those 4 guys 21 minutes a game. That’s not enough to keep them happy.

    So you either have to convince starters to play less than typical starters’ minutes, or you have to convince rotation guys in contract years to be content with less minutes than they’d get anywhere else. Or you have to trade someone — because getting rid of one of those 7-10 guys pretty much solves the problem.
  15. maufman

    maufman Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers Staff Member Dope Gold Supporter

    I moved this thread here from the Smart thread because it fits better here, and because the data are a useful contribution to this discussion.
  16. PedroKsBambino

    PedroKsBambino Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    I think the short answer is Stevens has already 'convinced' starters to play fewer minutes---just look at last year. It's all the same people back, with the caveat that Hayward will take up some minutes that Morris and lesser guys got last year.

    The other part is what was noted above---guys miss games, and that gives more minutes to others.

    I think you're tying yourself up in theoretical knots without a lof of reason.
  17. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

    Rosier is so, so overrated by SoSH... if Danny can fool another team into trading for him while giving up someone better, then do it! I'd hang onto Theis for sure (great potential especially with his athleticism). MaMo, well, as others have said he shouldn't bring back much in return. But, man, if Terry can return a player, then bye and bye.
  18. Jimbodandy

    Jimbodandy Member SoSH Member

    I think that it's a great conversation, fwiw.

    It is somewhat reminiscent of the "we have seven guys who could be starting pitchers in this rotation" conversation from over the years though. In baseball, that problem gets solved because seldom do five starters last the year. Someone always gets hurt.

    And if nobody gets hurt or requires extra nursing days, Danny makes a move or two.
  19. Devizier

    Devizier Member SoSH Member

    I'm too lazy to write a script for a deep dive in the minutes distributions -- maybe tomorrow night -- but here are the Celtics' players ranks in the NBA for minutes, ignoring guys with < 500:

    41 (Tatum)
    59 (Horford)
    74 (Brown)
    87 (Rozier)
    115 (Irving)
    177 (Smart)
    202 (Baynes)
    209 (Morris)
    261 (Ojeleye)
    300 (Theis)
    330 (Larkin)
    389 (Nader)

    The unusual aspect is that their top guy wasn't in the top thirty in the league in minutes. A big part of this is dictated by injuries but the decision to rest injured players is also dictated by management. It appears clear to me that the Celtics are conservative here (compared to the Thunder, for example) and they are joined by some pretty decent company:

    33 (Thompson)
    49 (Durant)
    56 (Green)
    172 (Curry)
    174 (Iguodala)
    220 (Young)
    269 (Livingston)
    292 (West)
    297 (Pachulia)
    298 (McCaw)
    307 (Looney)
    322 (Bell)
    337 (Casspi)
    338 (Cook)
    368 (Javale)
  20. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    I think the logic of this post is sound and it is why I do expect to eventually see a trade, most likely Morris I think.
  21. JakeRae

    JakeRae Member SoSH Member

    It's not just this though, the extra depth also involves sacrificing the minutes that would otherwise go to the 11-14 guys to those 7-10 guys. Ojeleye, Williams, Yabusele, and Bird need opportunities to play and if the minutes needs of our top 10 are eating up almost all available minutes, they won't get enough time to develop. Now, none of them are likely to see a ton of time, but trading away one of Morris or Rozier opens up opportunities for those young players when guys need rest or get hurt.

    This is one way in which this is different from baseball. Usually, you can resolve a rotation problem by keeping a young player in AAA longer. That works in baseball because you can develop MLB skills at AAA. The G-League isn't AAA. It's more like if you had to send your near-ready prospects to short season A ball. Sure, that's better than not playing at all, but they will never learn the skills they actually need to succeed at the highest level playing against such inferior competition.
  22. benhogan

    benhogan Baynes Hogan SoSH Member

    +1 ... good work

    and yes this needs repeating. Everytime I read about not enough minutes to go around it just stirs the Injury Gods. See Spring Training/Starting Pitching every year.

    Brad is a genius at using a long bench and rotating players into situations that exploit their strengths. The cupboards are well stocked with future draft picks, it's not a glaring need.

    We still don't know Rozier's ceiling, he has improved every year. Plus he is Kyrie injury and leaving insurance.

    MaMo is a big, physical veteran wing, you need his nastiness on a championship contender (to go at Draymond). PLUS he's a much better shooter than Semi.

    Irving, Brown, Tatum, Horford, Baynes
    Hayward, Rozier, Smart, Theis, MaMo
    Semi, Wanamaker, Bird, RobWill, Yabu (please move him)
    Lemon and ? on two-way contracts

    I'd like Danny to kick the tires on Kyle Korver. Maybe MaMo (younger, cheaper, shorter contract) gets that done.
  23. benhogan

    benhogan Baynes Hogan SoSH Member

    I guess most Celtic players are well loved and overrated by SoSH, home fan base and all.
    BUT once Terry hits a ceiling maybe we can start firming up his rating. Every time he plays he just keeps getting better.

    Scary 2018 Playoff Terry > 2018 starting Terry
    2018 starting Terry > 2017-18 bench Terry
    2017-18 bench Terry > 2016-17 Terry
    2016-17 Terry > 2015-16 Terry
    2016-16 Terry > Drafted, Louisville Terry
  24. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

    Don't all 30 teams now have this same "extra depth" simply from having 15-man rosters with most also having young unproven NBA players occupying slots 11-15? I can understand if you're a lottery team trying to find some diamond in the rough who becomes a rotation player but we are a championship contender who will not be utilizing NBA games for any developmental purposes for a long long time. You are asking Ainge to trade established young veterans for the right to play inexperienced and inferior players. Now, Morris "could" ultimately be moved at some point from agent demands of sort entering his free agent season as a guy who had previously started 184 consecutive games prior to coming to Boston......but that seems to be different than what you are suggesting.

    I think you're creating this "rotation problem" that doesn't exist outside of our 9-10 man rotation. The only reason Ojeleye saw ANY significant action as a rookie was due to an abundance of injuries not because he's a deserving of any minutes at this point in time......and I say this as someone who had Ojeleye as a 1st rounder last summer.
  25. Sprowl

    Sprowl Emile de Becque Dope

    Kyrie for 60
    Theis is still slight, which helps his springs, but eight years in the NBA have a way of putting pounds on a man. If Theis had Morris' stop-and-pop mid-range jumper, he could be a star, but he doesn't.

    I agree. Don't tempt the Injury Gods. If we get Smart for 70 regular season games, Kyrie for 60, Horford for 50, and Hayward for 40, we should acknowledge our blessings. Jaylen, Tatum and Semi, however, wil be immortal for 2019.

    Stevens trusts Ojeleye not to miss defensive rotations, which means Semi will play every game. An Ainge-produced and Stevens-directed team can have too many bigs and too many ballhandlers, but it can't have too many wings. The depth charts are different in the middle.
  26. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

    Semi wasn't part of the rotation last year when everyone minus Hayward were heathy and now you're adding Hayward. Not to mention he was pretty clearly exposed as someone who wasn't yet ready to play on the offensive end. What has he done to crack the regular rotation? To me he's clearly the 11th man at best and doesn't project to get any minutes except on back-to-backs or when there are injuries.
    #26 HomeRunBaker, Jul 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  27. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    If everyone is healthy (and here), he'll play fewer minutes than last year.
  28. Jimbodandy

    Jimbodandy Member SoSH Member

    Not sure what you mean by the bolded. Semi played in 73 regular season games. You can make a case that it would have been a fraction of that with a healthy Hayward, but he was certainly part of the rotation.
  29. the moops

    the moops Member SoSH Member

    Yea, the #'s were posted somewhere. Seme saw an increase in his minutes when Theis went down, but he was at something like 13 minutes a game before that happened.
  30. Saints Rest

    Saints Rest Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    A few posters have noted that Minutes per game averages are not the same as typical actual game usage due to injury and rest.

    Furthermore this team has a great deal of positional/role flexibility which, when combined with Stephens’ ability to match up, means that we can see lineups that won’t necessarily be the 5 “Best Players” but rather the “Best Five Matchups.” They can go big, they can go small. They can stress offense or they can stress defense.

    Big: Smart, Brown, Hayward, Horford, Baynes
    Small: Kyrie, Terry, Smart, Tatum, Theis
    Offense: Kyrie, Brown, Tatum, Hayward, Horford
    Defense: Smart, Brown, Hayward, Morris, Horford

    And each of those focuses can have legitimate 6th or 7th players who wouldn’t throw off the concept too much.

    So a guy like Baynes could see a game where he plays 25-30 minutes followed by a game where he is a DNP-CD. Ditto for Theis, Semi, even MaMo or Terry (although it would be a really odd day not to see those latter two).

    EDIT: Because I forgot about that Hayward guy.
    #30 Saints Rest, Jul 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  31. TripleOT

    TripleOT Member SoSH Member

    Will Morris buy in to an eighth man role on a title contender when in a contract year? I hope so. We're going to need a lot of tough minded players to get to the Finals and then try to deal with the Warriors and Durant.
  32. EddieYost

    EddieYost has a special friend in GHoff Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    What about Hayward?
  33. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

    I mean that when the team was healthy (sans Hayward) that Semi wasn't a part of the regular rotation. His minutes primarily came when multiple players were out of the lineup due to injury or in blowouts.

    * Semi was a DNP-CD in 5 of the 9 games he missed (inactive due to injury in other 4).

    * He played 7 minutes or less in 17 others. Of, those 17 games of <7 min......14 of them were single-digit games so they did not include garbage time minutes. These are spot minutes, possibly due to first half foul trouble or minor in-game injury, and not regular 1st and 2nd half rotations.

    * He played 34 games of 15 or more minutes and to me these are the most telling as they indicate regular rotation minutes PLUS games which include garbage time minutes. Of these 34 games, 19 were double digit games (6 of 20+ point diff). Looking through a random 6 games out of these 19, we were missing one rotation player (aside from Hayward) in two of these games and TWO or more rotation players in 4 of these games. Edit: Actually more when including Theis.

    * Of the remaining 15 single-digit games when Semi saw 15+ minutes, we were missing another rotation player (aside from Hayward) in 4 of them, missing TWO or more rotation players in 10 of them. Edit: More when including Theis.

    * As an aside, I even forgot to include Theis as a regular rotation player so in these games Semi saw 15+ minutes of action (not going back to do it again), which I used as an arbitrary number to indicate a regular game rotation in each half, there were even more that of an emergency rotation player than the numbers above indicate.
  34. BigSoxFan

    BigSoxFan Member SoSH Member

    I feel like the Morris stuff is a little overblown. Morris is entering his 9th NBA season. NBA GMs already know what they have in him and he recently had a couple of seasons where he started for Detroit. At this stage, he’s not getting a big deal, maybe MLE type money if he’s fortunate and I don’t really see that changing whether he plays 20 or 30mpg. As long as he is content with his role, and Brad will have to figure out what that is, I don’t really see an issue.
  35. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

    Herein lies TripleOT's concern and it is a legitimate one. Next summer should be Morris' opportunity to cash in on his biggest payday......I don't know why he'd be content in the 15-20 mpg role that most here (or at least in the Smart discussions) feel he will be playing in a contract year. One thing is certain if this is his role......Morris WILL be getting his shots up during the time he's on the floor (as will Rozier). This can be a very good thing on a second unit including Smart and Baynes as most teams struggle with second unit shot creation (we surely won't have that problem as it will be a major strength of this team)...….however in those minutes he's mixed with Kyrie, Tatum, etc I sense the game threads may include some venom on his shot selection.
  36. BigSoxFan

    BigSoxFan Member SoSH Member

    I think that’s a valid concern but I’d argue that Morris would be a chucker even if he just signed a max contract. It’s just who he is. There is some value to being a key bench contributor for a contender. Good news is that he’s easy to move should it become a problem.
  37. snowmanny

    snowmanny Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    If Tatum, Kyrie, Horford or Hayward is on the floor literally the only shots Marcus should take are wide-open threes when those other guys don't have their own wide open three, and layups. But those aren't the only shots he will take.

    Edit: I was talking about Marus M. Marcus S. is not all that dissimilar though.
  38. Big John

    Big John lurker

    So much of this is situational. If Mook's shot is falling, let him shoot. If Ojeleye is making life difficult for the other team's best scorer, leave him in. Stevens gets the big bucks to make these kinds of determinations, and so far he's proven to be pretty good at it.
  39. snowmanny

    snowmanny Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Morris went 52-151 from 2pt range in the playoffs. We can all do the math, about 34%.. It was all sort of tolerable in the "let's see how far they can get" 2018 playoff run, especially with his three-point shot falling at 40%+, but if his numbers look anything like that in the championship-driven 2019 playoffs "venom" won't begin to describe the game threads.
  40. mcpickl

    mcpickl Member SoSH Member

    I agree with this, I feel playing time will be a much bigger issue for Rozier than Morris.

    Morris has already made some money, and would be a free agent next summer heading into his age 30 season. He's not going to break the bank on a longterm deal.

    Rozier will be an RFA next summer heading into his age 25 season. He hasn't made money yet, likely thinks he's proved he can be a starter in the league, and is probably expecting a pretty big deal next summer. Getting a big reduction in minutes/role from where he was at the end of last season could make Terry a crabby fellow.

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