Milwaukee Bucks: Analyzing a potentially shorter playoff rotation

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 24: (Photo by Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 24: (Photo by Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – AUGUST 29: (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Not many other playoff teams rely on their bench unit more than the Milwaukee Bucks. But as the team looks to advance deeper into the postseason, shortening their rotation might not be such a bad idea.

It’s fair to say that no NBA team loves their bench more than the Milwaukee Bucks.

Per, the Bucks played their second unit players the fifth most in the league during the regular season, and have used their bench the second most in the playoffs.

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To elaborate on the latter fact, only two teams have used zero starter lineups more than the Bucks in the playoffs (Jazz and Nets), but when Milwaukee does so they have an uncharacteristic negative net rating.

For a first round series against the Orlando Magic, that is at least understandable. But for a second round series against the Miami Heat, or a Conference Finals series against the Celtics/Raptors, that should be unwarranted. The deeper a team goes in the playoffs; the shorter their rotation should get.

Against a team like the Magic the Bucks could get away with not playing their best players as much as possible, but that will not the case against the Heat/Celtics/Raptors.

Milwaukee has been running a rotation that is anywhere from 10-12 players deep against the Magic and it has worked out fine for them. But, from here on out, the team should look to shrink their rotation to just around nine players deep. This will not only allow them to give their starters more minutes, but also allow their entire team to get into the flow of the game easier (which is something that seemingly stumped the Bucks early on in the bubble).

The playoffs are a separate entity from the regular season. Every aspect of the game must be treated that way, and that includes the rotation. So with that being said, soon Milwaukee might have to make some tough decisions in regard to their lineup and its depth. It is the time to tell some players, “thank you for your services, now please sit and enjoy the rest of the show.”

The hard part is deciding which players should sit, and which players should play. The following will attempt to do just that: reorder a potentially shorter playoff lineup that’s most ready for the bright lights.