The rotation is still the biggest question 76ers coach Doug Collins has about his team.
Saturday, before the 14-16 Sixers took on the Portland Trail Blazers, Collins said that Royal Ivey will be a steady member in his rotation right now, as he likes the toughness Ivey brings at the defense end, particularly guarding the opposing point guard the complete length of the floor. What that means is someone in the trio of Jason Richardson, Dorell Wright and Nick Young is probably going to see a dip in playing time.
“We need to find some consistency,” said Collins. “When we get seven or eight guys playing well, we’re a pretty good team. We have struggled to do that, for whatever reason.
“He (Ivey) is going to be used, he is going to be in our rotation. We missed him when he was hurt. He brings an energy and toughness that we have to have - his up-the-floor defense, his ability to make the open shot. What I try to do is I don’t play him as a point guard offensively. He guards the points but somebody else out there will handle the ball and get us out there into our offense. We need him. Jrue (Holiday) and Evan (Turner) are going to get the minutes. Now all of the sudden you have J-Rich, you have Swaggy (N. Young) and you have Dorell and it’s tough to play all three of those guys, especially if you are going to play Royal in the rotation. That’s going to be tough for me because the hardest thing is when guys don’t separate themselves and we really haven’t had separation. If you look at it, their numbers are all so similar. What’s happened is when a couple of them have played well it’s usually when we’ve had an injury. I don’t have any answers and I woke up fretting about it today. I talked to my coaches about it. It’s a tough situation. It really is. We’ve settled into a three man rotation with our bigs, with Kwame coming on and doing a great job for us (Friday), so I think he’s in a great place. Dorell can play a little bit at that hybrid four if we need him, but we’re really trying to get a rotation just to get some consistency. With the injuries we really haven’t had a chance to do that.”
Richardson would appear to be a pretty solid bet to stay at the starting two spot, as that what he’s been most of his career and he might be a good asset once he’s fully healthy, which he really hasn’t been yet this year. Wright has the versatility, but has been streaky, and Nick Young can be scorching hot and icy cold in the matter of a couple of minutes. Plus you are never going to get a good amount of defense out of him.
It will probably be more of a matchup thing as to how much time Nick Young and Wright get. I would say Richardson will get his 25 minutes and it now appears Collins has Ivey slated to 15 or so a night. How much that leaves for Wright and Nick Young remains to be seen.