FanPost

Nick Young's minutes and the new guard rotation

I was just thinking about how Nick Young, the new SG/SF, would fit into the rotation. Hopefully, VDN can get it all straightened out soon enough (doubtful).


Right now, this team has 5 guards (CP3, Young, Foye, Mo, Bledsoe) all worthy of some minutes, and 3 SFs (Butler, Simmons, Young) who could also use time.

The Minutes Gainers:

Obviously, the only person here is Nick Young. I assume he will be starting fairly shortly after arrival, taking Randy Foye's spot in the lineup. However, at 6'7 and 200 pounts, Young is a legitimate option to play small forward, meaning that if Butler is struggling, Young might play a lot more at the 3. I expect him to start off at about 20 minutes per game, and after 5 games or so, move into the starting lineup. By the end of the year, if he continues shooting decent percentages and playing decent defense, I see him getting around 30 minutes per game.

The Big Minutes Losers

Randy Foye- If Nick Young plays at all well when he comes over, I say he takes Foye's starting role in about 5 games. He is bigger than Foye, a better defender than Foye, and can create his own shot slightly better than Foye. Foye also has disadvantages in that Mo Williams is a far better scorer and slightly better playmaker than he is, and Bledsoe brings his energy, rebounding, and defense to the table. It all depends on whether Vinny would rather play more of Foye or Bledsoe. Either way, I doubt Foye plays more than 15 minutes a game off the bench.

Eric Bledsoe- With Young moving into the top spot at SG, Bledsoe will lose most of his minutes at SG, which were not big to begin with. However, Mo Williams did get a lot of minutes at SG, and since I am sure VDN will still want to see him getting a fair amount of time, Bledsoe's minutes at the 1 will probably drop as well. In the past week or two it looks like he had been heading towards around 15 minutes per game, but now it looks like he will be down to 7 or less.

Bobby Simmons- In recent weeks, with Caron struggling on offense, Bobby has usurped a lot of Butler's minutes, including in the 4th quarter. While he still might be used as a stretch 4 if the Clippers want to go small, Young is big enough to play the 3, which means any time Caron is struggling, Young will probably be moved to the 3, and Mo or Foye will play at SG. I would be surprised if Simmons gets much more than garbage time now, though he might be in some smaller lineups as the 4, and might get some PT if both Caron and Young are struggling.

The Small minutes losers

Mo Williams- Mo has played a lot of SG this year, as he has been the best off the ball mover so far this year, and is a good option for CP3 to kick out to. As we all know, he simply can not guard 2s effectively, which leads to a lot of mismatches. However, he is likely to still get at least some time at SG, simply because after Paul and Griffin, he is still the best scorer on the team, and he will likely get some time with the starters. Far more likely is that, if Young plays well, he will get moved to SF to close out games, and Mo will close out as the 2 guard. I would say he drops from 32 minutes per game to around 28 or so, possibly as low as 25.

Chris Paul- The only position CP3 plays is PG, so Young will not directly effect him. Nonetheless, if VDN wants Mo to get more time at the 1, or wants to give Bledsoe minutes, he will have to sit CP3 a little more. I suspect Chris Paul will still get plenty of minutes though.

Caron Butler- This all really depends on how Butler plays. If he continues like he has been the past 6 weeks, Young will start taking more of his minutes at SF, and Simmons might even join in if it gets really bad. He needs to bounce back in a big way, or he will almost for sure be out of the end of the game lineup. He is just not a good enough scorer/shooter right now to be in during the closing minutes, not with Young and Mo on the roster. Also, his defense, at least to the eye test, is atrocious, though Erik O assures me that his defensive PER is good. Young is big enough to guard SFs, and is a much better and quicker defender than Butler. Butler's minutes might drop anywhere from his current 30 to around 25 if he plays well, or a huge drop off to 20 if he continues to play poorly, as Simmons has done fairly well, and he won't be getting many minutes.

Possible new lineups

Starters: CP3, Young, Butler, Griffin, DJ

Bench: Mo, Foye, Simmons, Evans, Martin

3rd string: Bledsoe, Leslie, Gomes, Trey

Small lineup: CP3, Mo, Young, Simmons/Butler, Griffin

End of game lineup: CP3, Mo, Young/Butler, Griffin, Martin

Comments please. Hope this was not too long.

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