Milwaukee Bucks: Recommending a playoff rotation to Joe Prunty

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse
NBA Power Rankings

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks must begin preparing for the 2018 NBA Playoffs. What rotation should coach Joe Prunty use to maximize his team’s chances at winning?

The Milwaukee Bucks are almost assured of a playoff berth, with the Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets too far back to make a push into the top eight. With just two weeks left in the regular season, that means the Bucks must start turning their gaze to the postseason.

Whether the Bucks end up playing the Toronto Raptors, the Boston Celtics or another Eastern Conference foe, one decision that interim head coach Joe Prunty will have to make is on his rotation. How does he integrate the myriad of very different role players around his core? How many minutes can Giannis Antetokounmpo play?

One key to determining the rotation will be which players are available. Two key guards, Malcolm Brogdon and Matthew Dellavedova, have been out for weeks nursing injuries. Brogdon is expected back in early April, while there is still no timetable for Dellavedova. Will reserve center Thon Maker be fully healthy? Can Antetokounmpo’s injured ankle hold up for 40+ minutes a game?

Once Prunty narrows down the list to those available to play, he also has to excise those players unable to make positive contributions. Shabazz Muhammad was a peculiar signing after he was bought out by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and while he hasn’t been terrible in limited minutes, he isn’t going to make the cut for the playoff rotation. Rookie D.J. Wilson will likewise not be a factor barring major injuries to multiple players.

But even paring things down leaves a surprising number of players and only limited minutes to pass around. With Brogdon and Dellavedova out, Jason Terry and Brandon Jennings have received plenty of run. When Brogdon returns, are their minutes still there, or are they completely removed from the rotation?

These are the broad questions Prunty must answer, but let’s go into the specifics. How will he and the Bucks coaching staff lay out their rotation for the postseason? Obviously things will change with matchups and foul trouble, but ideally, how would things fall?

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse