Fran burned his team out by not developing a bench he could trust.
Look, I was on record in January as to not believing what we were seeing from this team as being sustainable. I was wrong, until I was right, but I’m not looking to settle accounts or any such dipshittery. I think it’s more interesting to focus on what went wrong with this team. I *DO* think that, as I suspected at the time, they had some guys playing above their “real” level of play, but that doesn’t explain the totality of their collapse. I think the truth is that the guy who actually were that good (Uthoff and Jok) and the others who weren’t quite as good as they were playing but are still veterans who can make plays all got worn down by virtue of the fact that Franny didn’t invest in playing his young guys enough to give them rest and keep this team fresh down the stretch.
It’s not just about pure minutes played, either. Their minutes are high but they’re not off the charts high. Rather, it’s the minutes combined with the role those guys had to play. Because Fran didn’t invest in developing his bench, those guys entered every game knowing it was essentially on their shoulders alone and that takes a mental and psychological toll on any player.
I used to come at Thad Matta for this kind of thing but I don’t think he ever had a collapse on this level.