Coach Skiles on not playing Chris Douglas-Roberts

Before the Bulls game last night, I asked Scott Skiles about Chris Douglas-Roberts.

Alex Boeder: Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 30 points in his last matchup against the Bulls. Do you see this as a good matchup for him, and do you anticipate getting him on the court tonight?

Scott Skiles: Well he's been out of the rotation. It's not impossible that he gets on the floor tonight. But for the most part, we tried to shorten our rotation, and stick with John (Salmons), and try to get John going. And John has gotten going a little a bit. And Carlos (Delfino) and Corey (Maggette) and Keyon (Dooling). And play Keyon at the backup two, so that's been what we've been going with.

Douglas-Roberts did not play in the Bulls game, making it seven straight DNPs. He was the only active and healthy player to not play last night for Milwaukee.

Larry Sanders, fresh from the NBDL, played a bench-high 24 minutes, as the Bucks were thin up front because Ersan Ilyasova was held out due to a concussion. John Salmons played a team-high 37 minutes starting at shooting guard. Salmons played poorly (14/2/1 on 5-16 shooting with 4 turnovers) but he was also coming off three of his best games of the season in his last four games.

Keyon Dooling received backup minutes at off guard and shot 1-3 for two points in 13 minutes. He was at the two at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Skiles went with a Boykins/Dooling/Maggette/Sanders/Brockman lineup. The Bucks scored two points in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter (though the Bulls only scored four points themselves in that timeframe).

However, the Bucks have a +56 differential in 207 minutes this season when Jennings and Dooling share the backcourt together. And the team is still +28 in 246 minutes when Boykins and Dooling play together. Oddly, Dooling is the +/- king despite statistics that show he has struggled terribly at off guard, at least offensively. Dooling has a 35.4 eFG% from the field while playing shooting guard compared to 47.8 % at point guard according to 82games.com. He sports an unfathomably bad 5.9 PER (15.0 is considered average) while playing shooting guard (compared to a respectable 13.1 PER at point guard) but he also has held opposing shooting guards to a low 8.2 PER.

Meanwhile, Douglas-Roberts has a 49.2 eFG% and 15.2 PER while playing shooting guard, though opposing shooting guards have a 13.2 PER against him. Douglas-Roberts has played more minutes at small forward (18 % of team's minutes) than shooting guard (11 %) however, where he has played worse offensively (12.6 PER) but better defensively (8.8 opposing PER).

Back to Skiles, pre-Bulls-game:

Reporter: So it was more a matter of tightening the rotation?

Skiles: Yeah, more than anything else. And he hadn't played very well leading up to when I did it. He had a couple good games sprinkled in there, but other than that, he was struggling a little bit. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that he's going to get in the game tonight, but lately he's been out of the rotation.

Douglas-Roberts preceded his 30-point effort against the Bulls last month with a combined 13 points (6-18 fg) in 85 minutes over the span of four games. Since scoring those 30 points (out of the team's 83) in that loss at the United Center last month, CD-R's game log goes like this:

22 minutes. 4/1/4. 1-8 fg.
24 minutes. 11/4/3. 3-6 fg.
DNP
24 minutes. 4/0/4. 0-4 fg.
26 minutes. 9/3/0. 2-12 fg.
DNP
8 minutes. 8/0/0. 3-4 fg.
5 minutes. 0/0/0. 0-0 fg.
1 minute. 0/0/0. 0-0 fg.
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP

With Michael Redd's possible return in a few weeks, it's difficult to imagine that Skiles and the Bucks have designs on integrating Douglas-Roberts back into the offense. If they were to, it would follow that they would do so before Redd's anticipated return. But at this point, there is not much to indicate they will.

It is somewhat odd that he is the only player so firmly out of the rotation, particularly as everyone on the team has been so mediocre (generously put). But it's not like Douglas-Roberts has not had chances -- his 22:48 minutes per game are actually exactly even with Corey Maggette. Granted, those minutes have come in far fewer games than Maggette, but it's not as though he has a storied NBA career to fall back on (he was also benched at times on one of the worst teams of all-time in New Jersey last season while Salmons and co. were leading the Bucks to the playoffs), and his particularly enigmatic play has not lent itself well to a team and coach desperately trying to find consistency.

But from the publicly available evidence, it could hardly hurt to give Douglas-Roberts a couple more chances this season. It very well might not help either, but his output does not compare so unfavorably that it is not worth a try --  the Bucks, you probably noticed, have the worst offense in the NBA and the fourth worst offense of the last six years.

Ultimately, it's a matter of perspective: Is Douglas-Roberts not consistent because he doesn't get consistent minutes, or does he not get consistent minutes because he is not consistent? Keep in mind that this conundrum does not preclude the very real possibility that he could be inconsistent even with consistent minutes.

This is all very 2010-11 Milwaukee Bucks.

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