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Perhaps he's learning

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I was really interested to read Ivan's latest blog entry, because it deals with what smart Wizards fans like us consider to be one of the team's major problems: the rotation.  

Ivan basically said that Eddie has settled on the top 8 already, which, to me, is excellent news, not just because of who's there, but also because it seems like he at least has a plan.  

We know the starters are Arenas, Stevenson, Butler, Jamison and B Haywood. The top three reserves will likely be Daniels, Songaila and Blatche (based on his ability to play the backup 5 and his performance thus far in camp and the first four games).

Honestly, that's a nice start.  I'm overjoyed that Blatche is going to be a regular in the rotation, playing behind Brendan and Jamison.  Personally, I like the idea of playing Songaila and Blatche together in the second unit, because they complement each other so well.  Offensively, Songaila has a great jumper, while Blatche is really good around the rim, so they won't be stepping on each other's shoes.  Defensively, Blatche can (hopefully) compensate for Songaila's problems with his length and helpside rotations.  

Beyond those eight, apparently Eddie hasn't decided on the 9-12 slots.  He reportedly is leaning between Laser, Taser, Pech, and Mason as filling those last spots, but the order has yet to be determined.  

I'd guess that Pech is safely slotted as the third big man off the bench, behind Blatche and Songaila.  He probably won't play much, but it'll be nice to have a bigger body when needed.  

The other three guys (Young, Mason, McGuire) are interesting, though.  There's no doubt that each of those guys is behind Daniels, who must get a solid number of minutes.  I'm assuming Daniels will play a lot with Arenas, as he has in the past, and while my eyes tell me that the duo is not a good defensive pair, 82 games says otherwise.  Last year, when Arenas was paired with Daniels, the Wizards' defensive efficiency (points allowed per 100 posessions) was 103.1.  When Arenas was paired with Stevenson, the so-called defensive stopped, the team's defensive efficiency was 107.3.  I'll admit that I was surprised by that, but it definitely means AD's got to play.

But that doesn't mean Eddie should bury Laser and Taser.  Assuming Roger Mason is the fifth guard (and if he's not, we have a problem), then how do you get our rookie combo to get good minutes?  I'd like to see McGuire play with Arenas and Daniels if Caron Butler is sitting, because it'll be nice to have someone playing small forward who can compensate when opponents blow by Arenas and Daniels.  But I also think McGuire should play alongside Caron Butler, because that lineup will be flying all over the court.  A Daniels/Butler/McGuire trio might be our best defensive lineup, and lord knows we need defense.  At the same time, though, this team has invested too much in Young to not give him at least some minutes.  Young strikes me as someone who would play best without Gilbert Arenas, so I'd play him during the 8-10 minutes a game that Gilbert would rest.  He strikes me as someone who would work best in an AD/Young/Butler trio.

But what of Stevenson?  Remember, at the end of last year, we said that Stevenson would be best used as a backup.  His defense was really move average than great, and looking now, it's possible his shooting last year was a bit of a fluke.  With all these options on the wing, plus Daniels, I feel like it only makes sense to cut his minutes down.  I'd start him still, but I wouldn't necessarily have him finish games as much as he did last season.

So where does that leave us?  I'm not quite sure, but the guard rotation will be Eddie's biggest challenge.  Hopefully, he can fulfill it, but I have my doubts.

How would you break the minutes down on the wing?