Where are the Rookies?
In a season that has been decimated with injuries, especially to big men, 76ers rookies Lavoy Allen and Nikola Vucevic have seen decreases in playing time. In yesterday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks they were both healthy scratches. Both players have seen a major decrease in playing time since the return of starting center Spencer Hawes.
Doug Collins is usually quiet when it comes to problems with players. There have been rumored issues with guard Evan Turner. Turner received the starting job over Jodie Meeks earlier in the season, but has seen a steady decrease in playing time. Could these rookies be falling out of favor with Collins due to poor play? Or have they simply hit a rookie wall.
Lets not forget that it simply could be an issue of match ups. Doug Collins could feel that Tony Battie has presented better match up issues against recent teams. But does sitting these young players hinder their development? Or does it give them time to sit on the bench and study the game? This writer feels that benching your rookies can slow down their development. Evan Turner may be a better off the ball guard if he had received more playing time last year. But the past is the past.
I think the playoffs will be crucial for these young players. For Lavoy and Nikola it will be their first taste of the NBA playoffs. Will these players see increased playing time before then? Only time will tell.
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