Rotations continue to be the main topic of discussion for the Sixers this postseason. Doc Rivers has had faith in his second unit all season and maintained that faith in the playoffs.
Most teams typically tighten up their rotation once the playoffs begin, but that has not been the case for the Sixers. Rivers is still playing 10 or 11 guys a game in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
This move was not surprising as Rivers hinted at going deep in the playoffs for weeks as the regular season winded down. Using a deep rotation has given Rivers optionality and allowed him to use certain players situationally.
After how things have played out for the second unit in their first two games against the Hawks, Rivers might be starting to reconsider his stance. If not for some late-game heroics from Shake Milton, there would have been a much different story about the Sixers' bench after game 2.
Despite their inconsistencies on the offensive end, Rivers does not seem ready to slim down his rotation just yet.
"We have a lot of guys on this team who can play. We have a plethora of guards who can play. They all can't play every night. What we want to do is keep them in rhythm and the push-pull principle. Meaning you play well, you keep playing, if not, there's a guy pushing you," said Rivers.
Rivers is correct in saying that the Sixers have more than a handful of players every night, but the deep rotation does not seem to part of the recipe for success. As we are another round deeper in the postseason, it might be time to start slimming things down.
The second unit has not shown they can score consistently enough to continue this deep rotation. Going almost three full quarters without a single bench point is unacceptable for a team playing that many players.
Now that Milton is looking like himself again, a nine-man rotation could be the ideal number for the Sixers. Going with George Hill, Milton, Matisse Thybulle, and Dwight Howard off the bench give you more than enough on both ends to complement the starters.
Rivers has already made one rotation adjustment this series, finally abandoning the all-bench lineup. The next step is cutting down the number of players taking the floor every night.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.