I know it's still relatively early in the pre-season and things can change in a heartbeat, but given Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy's comments to me at practice a few days ago about figuring out his rotation and when, I surmised it'd be a fun exercise for members in the community to figure out what their rotations would be if given the task of figuring out which players deserve to play the most.
When you have a full roster ready to go when Rashard Lewis gets back from suspension, how big will your rotation be?
I don't know. I just don't know. We'll see how everybody is playing. Eight, nine, or ten [players], I don't know. It certainly can't be more than ten and ten is a lot. Eight or nine? A back-up point, a back-up center, and two of those other guys at most and that's it. Probably. It'll be hard, we could go ten for a while I guess and just have a back-up at every spot but I don't know, we'll have to see how everybody is playing and what we think we're getting not only with our starting lineup but with our second unit. This group will be a little harder to figure out, as it has been in the past but all the options are good options so it's certainly not a complaint.
How do coaches figure that out? In terms of figuring out a rotation, is that based on personnel, talent, what?
Well, what we think will work. We'll obviously want to see much of them as we can in the pre-season and then you find things you like and don't like and how guys who fit together. I mean, I think there are some guys that maybe are very good players who work themselves more to say being go-to guys with the second unit than really guys who can fit in and be complimentary guys in the first unit so it's not just putting your five best players on the floor to start because I think with those first four guys (Nelson, Carter, Lewis, Howard), the guys I know I'm going to start when Rashard comes back, that fifth guy has got to be a guy that helps those four guys the most in some way and then we got to find a second unit where at least one of our main guys is still in it playing with them but a second unit that operates pretty well and find what they can do. That'll be more what we're trying to figure out probably in those last three exhibition games. Use these first five to sort out, come up with some possibilities, and then try to use the last three to try to narrow it down and get fixed on something.
The only "rule" is that the rotation can't have more than 10 people. Likewise, try to follow the rationale explained by Van Gundy at best as possible. So, have at it.
Make Van Gundy proud.