Vogel Experiments with a Tighter Rotation, Dahntay the Odd Man Out


Yesterday, Coach Frank Vogel announced that George Hill would replace Darren Collison as the starting point guard. Before tonight’s game, he announced another experiment with the rotation.

“One other change that we’re going to look at tonight,” Vogel said, ” and I haven’t made a final decision if this is going to be our playoff rotation – but we’re going to look at extending Paul George’s minutes with that second unit as well. Partially, because he’s a budding superstar, and partially because giving DC another guy out there he’s used to playing with will help the transition.

“So, Dahntay will be out of the rotation, unless we have foul trouble or a need. That will be for tonight, probably, then day-by-day for the next couple game to see where we’re at. Paul will play Dahntay’s normal minutes in the second quarter and the third quarter.”

This is the type of experimentation that makes sense given the Pacers’ current position in the standings. They are one win or one Atlanta loss away from locking up their best possible playoff seeding – third in the East. Given tonight – and the remaining two games – are all at home, the clinch feels likely.

On Thursday night, David West told me that it was his preference to play, but it wasn’t his decision. I followed up with Coach Vogel as to whether he’d rest players, and he was non-committal.

“When and if we clinch the third seed, I will talk to our guys and see what they want to do,” Vogel responded. He went on to say that he’d balance what he felt was best for the team with what they players feel is best for them. While some guys would certainly get some rest, Vogel seemed reticent to just shut things down.

“I don’t really feel comfortable with just going a full week without having played a real game with normal rotation,” Vogel finished his pre-game gaggle by opining.

And really, he doesn’t have to. The beauty of this Pacer roster is that they only have two players – Danny Granger and Darren Collison – who average over 30 minutes  per night. Granger leads the team at just over 33 minutes, which is his lowest average since his rookie year. Meanwhile, there are six players averaging between 19 and 29 minutes a night.

Compared to most teams, coach Frank Vogel can rest his players simply by playing his normal rotation. That’s a credit both to him, and to Larry Bird’s job of putting this team together.


Tags: Dahntay Jones Frank Vogel Paul George

  • br

    how the hell did PG not win the slam dunk contest!!!!!!!!!!

    I respect the decision to sit DJ, but he is a proven bench scorer and veteran…… that should be considered.

  • hello

    when did PG become the teams best player, playing the most minutes and always taking the last shot? Mybe in a few years.

  • longtimewatcher

    Maybe Dahntay should have had some of Danny’s minutes last night, after all. What’s the opposite of serendipity?

  • dwain

    I’m your captain(Grand Funk Railroad)

    Everybody, listen to me,
    And return me, my ship.
    I’m your captain, I’m your captain,
    though I’m feeling mighty sick.

    I’ve been lost now, days uncounted,
    And it’s months since I’ve seen home.
    Can you hear me, can you hear me,
    Or am I all alone.

    If you return me, to my home port,
    I will kiss you mother earth.
    Take me back now, take me back now,
    To the port of my birth.

    Am I in my cabin dreaming, or are you really scheming,
    To take my ship away from me?

    You’d better think about it, I just can’t live without it.
    So, please don’t take my ship from me.
    Yeah, yeah, yeah …

    I can feel the hand, of a stranger,
    And it’s tightening, around my throat.
    Heaven help me, Heaven help me,
    Take this stranger from my boat.

    I’m your captain, I’m your captain,
    though I’m feeling mighty sick.
    Everybody, listen to me,
    And return me, my ship.

    I’m your captain, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
    I’m your captain, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
    I’m your captain, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
    I’m your captain, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

    I’m getting closer to my home …
    I’m getting closer to my home …
    I’m getting closer to my home …
    I’m getting closer to my home …
    Ohhhh …

    I’m getting closer to my home …
    I’m getting closer to my home …
    I’m getting closer to my home …
    I’m getting closer to my home …

  • Derek U

    “hello” he isn’t always taking the last shot.. On a night when Danny couldn’t hit the ocean from the beach, and Roy didn’t a terrible job getting position all night, I think they just went with the hotter hand.

    I agree, he shouldn’t be taking those shots yet, but it wont be long before he’s the main man. Love watching this kid, how he slipped to the 10th pick is beyond me, he will be the steal of that draft class.