Lately, the Philadelphia 76ers have had to shake up their starting lineup ahead of most matchups. As players have been dealing with injuries and COVID-19-related setbacks over the last few weeks, the Sixers have had to make changes on the fly.
Philadelphia's veteran forward Danny Green has seen his role get reduced recently as he's been among those dealing with a physical injury. Early on in the season, Green pulled himself from a matchup as he felt tightness in his hamstring.
He went on to miss three-straight games due to hamstring tightness. Although he made it back out on the floor for four-straight games, he left the November 13 matchup in Indiana early with the same issue.
Once again, Green was forced to miss time. He sat out for four-straight games before making his return in Golden State last week. Typically, Green starts for the Sixers, but since returning against the Warriors, he's garnered a role coming off the bench.
For the time being, the veteran forward is on a minutes restriction as he works on getting back to one-hundred percent. Therefore, head coach Doc Rivers likes him coming off the bench depending on the matchup.
For the time being, Sixers' third-year veteran Matisse Thybulle has started in place of Green. When asked if that could become a permanent change in the future even when Green's restriction is lifted, Rivers mentioned it's been thought about.
“What do you think? With all of our coaches on our staff, no one’s ever thought of this?” Rivers joked on Monday. “We think about everything -- all of that. We’re going to do a lot of things. As I said before the year, I think this is a starting lineup that will change a lot. At least in those positions.”
Since the start of the 2021-2022 NBA season, Doc Rivers has hinted at the idea of changing up the starting lineup depending on matchups. As the Sixers prepared to take on the Orlando Magic on Monday, Rivers reiterated that frequent changes to the lineup remain a discussion behind the scenes.
“Danny does what he does whether he starts or comes off the bench," Rivers continued. "When he starts, he provides spacing, shooting, defense. When Matisse (Thybulle) starts, it’s more defense. I thought the other night starting Matisse was a great example. It looked great, but then they trapped Joel every time and we had one less guy and you can go either way with it.”
Danny Green will be back in the starting lineup on Monday night, but his minutes will still be in check. When will that go away? In potentially one to two weeks, Rivers predicted. While he can't put a specific timeline on Green's restriction, Rivers makes it clear the Sixers will continue to take it easy with him as he's dealt with multiple setbacks through the first 20 games of the year.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.