I'm nervous. You can probably guess why, but the explanation is below the jump.
I'm primarily nervous about how the rotation is handled with a fuller roster. I'm assuming there will be few games where all 15 are available, but even then, there are some possible quandaries. Some might not see them as such; feel free to say why in the comments. But to me, with the exception of Brad Miller (who's obviously played very little), several players have shown that they can contribute if the matchup is right and they're right.
With that in mind, though, that's not to say that all 15 are created equal or even that the non-Rubio-Love-13 are created equal. My first thought in narrowing this down is determining a minimum level of acceptability for rotation players. To me, that means looking at the baseline of the worst rotation player on the worst Western Conference playoff team (by SRS, not record) according to Win Shares/48 minutes. Last year, that was Willie Green, then of the Hornets, who posted a .052 WS/48.
The problem? Without including Martell Webster's 2 games or Miller's 1, the Wolves have 9 guys above that so far this season: Love, Pekovic, Ridnour, Rubio, Randolph, Barea, Williams, Ellington, and Tolliver. Only Ellington and Tolliver are below .095. Then, there's the issue of determining whether guys like Beasley and Johnson bring something not reflected in stats.
I'm not going to get into that, though my guess is it would come up in the comments. Personally, I think the Wolves have some guys who should always be in with the game on the line if they're healthy and haven't fouled out (Love and Rubio obviously), several more who should play if they're healthy, and several others who should play depending on the matchup. My sole questions (all of these qualified based on the number of healthy bodies):
- Who should play?
- How many should be in the rotation?
- How much game-by-game flexibility should there be for the end of the rotation that depends on situations?