Kings players have been frustrated all season -- their minutes seem to fluctuate randomly under coach Paul Westphal (there are graphs to prove this, via the amazing Tom Ziller). Francisco Garcia got a rare start against the Clippers Saturday, but played just 14 minutes. Which is better than Donte Green who started Tuesday and got 14 minutes, and a few weeks back started then had just four minutes of burn.
There seems to be no set rotation and players don’t understand, and Spencer Hawes spoke for the team in a story on Tuesday:
“All year we’ve kind of been dealing with that,” he said. “When you think you have kind of gotten over that hump, it comes back up again. That’s the philosophy, so you’ve just got to deal with it.
“Everyone up and down the roster has had a taste of that, so everyone can relate. I think it’s kind of tough, the not-knowing part on a game-to-game basis, to get in that rhythm. But that’s the way it’s going and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.”
Tuesday night Hawes was on the don’t dress list for the Kings.
Classy. Tyreke Evans spoke out about rotations too, did he get benched? What about Sean May, he was quoted as well? Oh, he got the start.
Westphal is far from the first coach to use odd and wild lineups and substitution patterns. Phil Jackson has made a career out of it. But Jackson does it to test players, to learn who can play together, then the second half of the season he starts to settle into a regular rotation. Because then the players understand their roles and can play them.
It’s a lot harder to understand your role if said role keeps shifting. Veteran coaches should understand that.