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Do the Suns realize it’s not the playoffs yet? February 5, 2007

Seriously, I’m not sure if D’Antoni understands that the regular season is not the playoffs. Usually coaches go to a 6-8 man rotation in the playoffs, not before the All-Star break. Since the beginning of January, ie. the last 18 games, here are the per minute totals per player:

Diaw 33.9
Marion 37.7
Stoudemire 34.6
Bell 32.4
Nash 34.8
Barbosa 31.3
Jones 21.0
Banks 6.1
Thomas 5.1
Jones 2.0
Rose 1.2
Burke 1.1

And if we discount the 4 blowout games in which Pat Burke actually played minutes (how is it possible that there are only 4 blowout games?!?), in the 14 other games the totals:

Diaw 35
Marion 38.6
Stoudemire 35.9
Bell 34.7
Nash 36.2
Barbosa 31.4
Jones 19.8
Banks 4.2
Thomas 4.0
Jones 1.0

I mean, come on, already. A 7 man rotation in the regular season? After last year’s brutal playoff run, this is just not that necessary. They have shown they can play with and beat everyone. They were one Raja Bell calf injury away from getting by Dallas and having to deal with Wade’s 50 free throws per game. Meanwhile Dallas (I’m not going to run the stats on them, but offhand, they play easily 8-10 players per game) is also cruising through the regular season, but well, without burning out the starters. And on top of that, you can never, ever be sure about microfracture knee surgery. I’m not convinced that playing Amare major minutes so soon was/is a good idea.

I’m not sure what this means for their playoff hopes, but I’d rather be a Dallas or San Antonio fan right about now.

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