Whenever there's a change in coaching, the new guy will make changes to fix the problems that he sees with the team. This means an increased role with more minutes for some players and a decreased role with less minutes for other players. Now that we've gotten about 20 games through the season with Ed Tapscott, we've got a clearer picture of who's benefitted from the new coach and who hasn't.
For the sake of this exercise, we'll exclude Mike James and Javaris Crittenton since they didn't come in until after the change had taken place and we'll exclude Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison as well since any coach would be playing them 40 minutes a game given the state of the roster. With those four players out of the way, let's go about ranking the rest of the squad.
- Andray Blatche: Since Tapscott has come in, Blatche has been a completely different player. I think Antawn Jamison put it best in regards to how his performance has improved since the switch. He still makes his share of boneheaded plays, but at least he's making them confidently. Before you'd see Blatche play with that deer in the headlights look, make a mistake and get benched. Now he looks like he has an idea of what he's doing out there and his performance has gone way up.
- Dominic McGuire: One of things that Tapscott really wanted to establish when he took over was Dominic's role as the team's defensive stopper. While he still has some room to grow, he's still further along than everyone else on the roster right now and on a team that struggles with defense and rebounding, his contributions have been incredibly valuable.
- Darius Songaila: Ed still uses him as a center and while I'm still not a fan of playing him there for long shifts, he's been playing much more effectively at that spot since the change and he seems to be more comfortable with his role in the offense since the change.
- Juan Dixon and Etan Thomas: I'm grouping these two together because they both seem to have their minutes yanked around quite a bit. The good thing is that they're both veterans that can deal with that and be ready when their names are called. Overall, I'd say Thomas has benefitted some from the change, where Dixon has not but it's been hard to get a read on either because they can go a week without playing and then have a week where they average 15 minutes a game.
- Oleksiy Pecherov (seen here during his days in high school): Yeah, his role is still completely the same.
- DeShawn Stevenson: The coaching change hasn't really affected DeShawn much either. He was playing hurt for Jordan and he was playing hurt for Tapscott. Eventually DeShawn put an end to the cherade by telling Tapscott to bench him, but moving to the second unit didn't really make a difference because it didn't change that he was playing through an injury he probably shouldn't have been playing through.
Nick Young: There's a Palace of Good Play and Nick Young does not have the key. Where Andray Blatche was the guy always looking over his shoulder after every mistake under Jordan, Young took that role for a little while under Tapscott. He seems to have worked his way out of that and he's back to having a more consistent role, but he has not played as well
JaVale McGee: Prada pretty much summed it up here. One possible explanation for his lack of minutes could be Ed Tapscott mistaking the "Free McGee!" chants from the crowd for "Eazy-E!" If he starts wearing N.W.A. shirts, we'll know.