FanPost

Guestimation on # of Minutes for each Blazer in 2013-14.


I was wondering why Olshey let both Jermaine O'Neal sign with a contending team and Greg Steimsma get away, too (that one was difficult as no less than 10 teams were after him, but New Orleans offered him the most playing time, of which I'm guessing anywhere from 1200-2000 minutes (Portland could have only offered him about 900-1500, with a more realistic number being about 1200). For a player with Stiemsma's experience of only two seasons in the league, he needs minutes on the floor with Starters more than anything else right now.

So, why did Olshey hold onto the remaining money he has available to spend, around $2.5M, which could be increased by $1.5M with the release of Freeland? There's a glaring need for another Center with experience who can defend the rim. Did Olshey want to hold onto the cap room in order to wait for "an opportunity" that comes up, or is he being prudent in case of a season-ending injury to a rotation player, where the cap money would be needed to try to get a quality replacement through trade or free-agency?

Or, maybe it was as simple as there just were not any minutes left on the court to add another player. I'm going to give my best guestimate on how many minutes each player will get next season. But, first, we need a total number of minutes to work with. I'm going to assume that 10 overtime periods will be played. That makes for a total of 19,930 minutes to divide among the 14 players projected to be on the roster as of today.

I'm also going to list each player's age at the beginning of the 2013-14 regular season, along with their career number of Starts, career number of Minutes, and Starts and Minutes for last season. I'm listing Starts because I feel that minutes as a Starter are twice as valuable to an individual's growth than minutes coming off the bench. As a Starter, you're playing against the other team's five best players, while playing alongside your own team's best players. You're also practicing with the best players on your side (we can't discount how much better practice will be for our Starters now that we have a half-way decent bench).

Player.........Age........Starts......Car.Min.........LstYrStrt/Min.......Proj.Min.2013/14

Lillard,......23.2..........82............3,167............82/3,167.................2,800

Aldridge,...28.3..........467.......17,962............74/2,790.................2,600

Batum,.......24.9.........275.........9,492.............73/2,807................2,600

Matthews,..27.0.........239.........9,414.............69/2,403................2,300

Lopez,........25.6.........176.........5,622.............82/2,136.................2,200

Wright,.......27.9.........207........10,704.............8/1,783..................1,400

McCollum,.22.0...........0..............0.......................0/0.......................1,300

Leonard,....21.7...........9............1,206..............9/1,206..................1,200

Robinson,..22.5..........0.............1,056..............0/1,056..................1,200

Watson,......34.3........227.........19,333..............4/829.......................630

Claver,.........25.2.........16..............812...............16/812.....................500

Barton,.........22.8..........5...............894................5/894.......................500

Crabbe,........21.5..........0...............0......................0/0..........................400

Freeland,.....26.7...........1..............477.................1/477......................300

I'm accounting for injuries that will keep players out for 8-12 games. It's something that can be expected through a normal course of a season. Also, Starters won't play as many minutes because they don't have to anymore. They can be in better shape then for the end of the season and the playoffs should we make it.

Lillard gets a significant drop in minutes because he simply played too many minutes last season. We need him to play better Defense and that takes energy, which means he needs more rest. Same goes with all of the Starters, along with the Starters not having to play through all of their injuries,...some of them, yes, but not all of them.

Olshey has stated emphatically that he wants to get Robinson up-to-speed. That means giving him forced minutes when he doesn't deserve them. It also means that he's going to take minutes away from both Claver and Freeland at the Power Forward position, thus the low minutes for those two players. Wright is our best player off the bench. But, I still couldn't find more than 1400 minutes for him, as I don't see him as good enough to take too many minutes away from Batum or Matthews, but more as a pure second-stringer.

McCollum will have to be given forced minutes, too. He offers tremendous upside and needs to play. It's why Lillard will be getting nearly 400 minutes less this season and Matthews 100 minutes less, even if Matthews plays in more than 69 games. But, again, I still could not find more than 1200 minutes for McCollum, as many of them will be forced minutes, as it is. He appears to have a fast learning curve, but he's got two positions to learn, so that makes it more difficult. Claver played three positions last year (one of the reasons he gets more minutes than Crabbe....Claver has potential, too, and a fast learning curve).

Leonard gets 1200 minutes again this season, but 800+ of last year's minutes were forced. Fewer of them will be forced this season, plus there is no other Center on the roster besides Lopez. This is where the article began, and why Olshey may have just decided to pass on bringing in an O'Neal or a Stiemsma. He wants to develop Robinson and Leonard, and bringing in another Center would stunt their growth too much.

Crabbe gets 400 minutes because that's all that is left. I don't think he can outplay Barton this season, and Barton only gets 500 minutes after getting 894 minutes last season. It's another "D"-League season for Barton and Freeland with Crabbe joining them this season.

Lopez gets 2200 minutes because he's our best defender of the paint. Last year he received 40% of his career minutes in the NBA and he took a huge leap in his age-24 season. With another 2200 minutes, he should take as big a leap again this season.

Watson gets 630 minutes, which is more than Crabbe, Claver, and Barton, because he's the leader of the 2nd unit until McCollum can show that he can handle the Point.

This all adds up to 19,930 minutes, an 82-game schedule with 10 overtime periods included.

Had an O'Neal been added, he would have received about 800-1000 minutes. Those minutes would have to be subtracted from Lopez, Leonard, and Robinson. It's not worth stunting the growth of any of those three players, is my best guess.

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