What To Do With The Thunder’s Rotation
Daequan Cook has proven to be a valuable player.
But has he done enough to force Thunder coach Scott Brooks’ hand?
That’s what we’re wondering in today’s question of the day.
Should Scott Brooks tinker with the rotation when Thabo Sefolosha returns from injury to keep Daequan Cook’s perimeter shooting on the floor?
Yes. If you have a shooter who’s hot, you don’t sit him, especially when you’re 29th in the league in 3-point percentage. Thabo starts and James Harden backs him up, but if Harden is struggling, I say stick Cook in there and see if he’s feeling it that night. If he is, adjust accordingly. If Harden and Cook are both doing well, leave them in there together for a shift and move Kevin Durant to the No. 4 spot. The Thunder needs a pure shooter, and that’s what Cook is. Don’t shove him back down the bench.
No. I wouldn’t tinker with the rotation. If Cook is outplaying Harden, play Cook. If Harden is still producing quality minutes in the rotation, then sorry for Cook. The Thunder’s problem is not at all offensive. The Thunder hasn’t played top-shelf defense, and any changes to the rotation and the chemistry has to involve a defensive upgrade.
No. Tinkering with the rotation sounds complicated. The Thunder is a playoff team and the time for using minutes to build a player’s confidence is over. Play the best player, and if that’s Cook then fine. He’s going to need to hit a lot of 3-pointers to make up for the things he doesn’t do, things that Harden — when he’s playing well — does. But the possibility of the court opening up even more with Cook hitting corner 3-pointers — a shot the Thunder rarely takes or makes — is intriguing. This seems like a good time of the season for OKC to be trying to answer this question.
The rotation shouldn’t change. But the substitution patterns should in certain situations. The Thunder has a knock-down shooter on the bench. Use him. Too often this season Cook (and Mo Peterson for that matter) has been a victim of Brooks’ hard and fast substitution pattern. Rather than aggressively trying to find a spark, it seems Brooks has fearfully tried to avoid destroying a player’s rhythm. The only problem with that is there have been several games in which certain players, and the team in general, hasn’t had a rhythm. At those moments, you might as well try someone else.
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