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Tapscott Utilizes a Pared-Down Rotation

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ed Tapscott emphasized two points before making his NBA coaching debut with a 124-100 victory over Golden State last night: The offense would primarily run through all-star forwards Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison and he would use a tighter playing rotation.

Indeed, Butler and Jamison combined to score 60 points and Tapscott primarily split minutes among eight players. Dee Brown, DeShawn Stevenson, Butler, Jamison and JaVale McGee started while Andray Blatche, Nick Young and Dominic McGuire got the bulk of the action off the bench.

Juan Dixon and Darius Songaila played, while Oleksiy Pecherov and Etan Thomas did not get into the game. That could change on a game to game basis.

"I call it an eight plus two plan," Tapscott said. "There probably is a core of eight guys who are going to play every night and then two out of the remaining four will play based on matchups, scouting reports and the rest. That way, I can say to guys: nobody gets put in the closet. Everybody is going to have a chance to make their contribution to this team but we can't always play 12 every night."

Meantime, assistant coach Randy Ayers was not on the bench last night after undergoing a minor surgical procedure. Ayers was promoted to be Tapscott's lead assistant on Monday.

Fostering Change?

Recent history suggests that replacing coaches during the season does not often pan out. Since the start of the 2004-05 season, 13 teams have replaced coaches during a season and only one the 2004-05 Nuggets (13-15 under Jeff Bzdelik, 32-8 under George Karl) made a drastic improvement.

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