We've got 15 games left in the season, and we're 7 games out of the playoffs. The chances of us getting in are remote. The chances of us getting in and making a splash are even more remote. The entire purpose of this season after losing Greg was to develop our players and see what we had to build from. Watching the 13 game winning streak was great fun, but was really a side-note to the season as a whole. So, what do we do with the final 15 games?
Should we play like we're still trying for the playoffs? By keeping the rotation shorter and the minutes higher the players can experience the playoff push in Hi-Def. Gaining experience in how to win when it matters is what will turn this young team into rugged veterans faster.
Should we play hard, but with caution to avoid key injuries? This is the coast to the finish line option. The players will still understand that they need to go out and give the effort to win, but the key players will get fewer minutes so the nagging injuries don't become more serious or career threatening. This option begs the question of where the minutes go.
Should young players needing game-time evaluation be played? This would give our coaches and executives a chance to see what we've got to work with in live action. Practice is great, but they don't put practice points into the career stat book. How will they fare when it matters? It's time to answer those questions, or at least get more data. Players I place in this category are: Von Wafer, McRob, & Sergio. As a reminder; last year we saw the break-out performances by Outlaw to close the season strong when he was looking for a contract.
Should borderline players be showcased for possible trade bait? We've got a 15-man roster, and several of those players realize their time is short. Would it be in our best interest to polish those players and put them on display before we put them on E-Bay? The potential trade value of a player that doesn't see the court is limited to their contract length. Players I place in this category are: Raef & Darius.
Since the big picture is to bring a championship to this city, this season should be viewed as a stepping stone to that goal. Will we gain more as a team from fighting to the last moment for a chance at the playoffs (where miracles happen), or should we use the valuable time to lay the groundwork for the summer and next season?
The good news is that there is no wrong answer. The better news is that this should be the last season we ask this question for a long, long time.