1 month into the season Our rotation so far has mainly consisted of the starters playing a whole lot of minutes. Some progress over last year in this respect, but not a whole lot. Darko has played. Regularly and when the game counts. Just not a whole lot. He typically plays in the 1st half, but not the 2nd half except in blowouts. Delfino has played about every other game or so when the game counts and not a lot. Arroyo has pretty much established himself as out backup point. But not getting a whole lot of minutes. Dyess started out getting around 20 minutes a game, but his minutes have been reduced as his early season shooting slump continues. Evans initially was getting pretty good minutes too, but also has had his minutes cut as of late as Flip is seeing that his ball handling and rotating on defense is not improving so fast. Maxiell has only gotten garbage time. Davis has barely played. Amir Johnson and Alex Acker have yet to dress. Last report says Hunter is 1 to 2 months away yet from coming back. Although his surgery was minor, they now say the damage done by that bone chip, over a prolonged period of Hunter enduring it, did a lot of damage that will take a long time to heal up. Several blowouts, one the bad way, have contributed to keeping the starters minutes down on average. But in close games, our starters don't get much rest. Lets review each player to look for changes in the vets, and what the young guys have. Starting with Ben Wallace. Ben is shooting his free throws better. He gets involved in the offense, but generally this is in the first half of a game, and is completely out of existence in the 2nd half. He is showing no signs of having a better shot from the outside to go with the improved free throw shooting. Sheed has definitely been used inside more so far this year. But he is also hitting his 3's pretty darn well too. Tay is still scoring like he left off last half of last season. He is aggressive a lot. I believe his rebounding is down, though I would have to check the stats to be sure. Rip is getting more picks from his teammates than ever. He is still going inside. Still looking to drive and dish here and there. His shooting range has definitely gone right out beyond the arc. At the moment, he is shooting about 50% on 3's. None to shabby. His defense definitely looks improved. He has always been a very good defender of point guards. Now he is doing a lot better on shooting guards. CB has not changed much. Except in one respect. He is more relaxed out there. If he feels the urge to launch a three, he does. And no one gives him a bit of grief about it. What does this do? With Billups being much more a threat to launch a three now, players are playing up on him a lot more. And this loosens it up for Billups to find assist opportunities. His assists are up because of this. His turns are down for a similar reason. If the other team packs it in, CB is no longer told to force the issue inside. He is allowed to instead either shoot or run a play to get an outside shooter a shot. Dyess is simply not hitting his shots. Sometimes he looks pretty good out there, like his knee problems are long forgotten. Lots of rebounds, very active on defense. But the shot simply is not falling, regardless of how good he is looking otherwise. Still early in the season and lets all hope this is just a bad blip in his career. A very short blip. Arroyo has shown a lot of capability to shoot and a lot of capability to dribble right to the basket and score. Even if a big is there that he has to shoot over. And he can run the show, very capable of seeing all that is around him and make good choices. And his defense has looked pretty darn pesky. Basically, just not much not to love. Evans has shown us he can hit threes. He can really get up for a rebound. He is good at guarding physical point guards. But he has also shown he can't handle the ball none too well, not move well without the ball. Plus, we have often seen his height truly limits his ability to guard some stronger small forwards. The rest of the players so far have not played enough to comment on. The main thing to change right now is backup small forward. Player X needs to take this role. Evans, Delfino, and maybe Acker can fight for backup guard minutes. Maybe Delfino can be that small forward. But it has got to be someone other than Evans. We need more height there.