I don’t know about you, but the more choices I have, the worse decision-maker I seem to be.
As an example, when the WNBA finals are over, I’m supposedly going to try to get a new vehicle, and give a break to the one that I’ve got 160,000-plus miles on.
But I have to say “supposedly” because I was going to do this last fall, then couldn’t make up my mind and decided, “Well, one more year.” Now here it is a year later, and I’m being wishy-washy again. It’s not that I can’t choose between a couple of different vehicles. I can’t even seem to get it narrowed down to that.
It reminds of the line attributed to Henry Ford about his Model T, when he said people could have it in any color they wanted … so long as it was black. Ah, those were the days, huh?
It’s nice to have options, of course, until you actually have to pick one. Or at least it seems that way to me, which is why I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Atlanta Dream’s various lineups.
The Dream lost Game 1 of the WNBA Finals to Seattle on Sunday, but not by much. Had Angel McCoughtry gotten just a little better look and had one more second of time, Atlanta might be the team with a 1-0 series lead. Instead, it’s Seattle, a team that does go to its bench, but not with the number of varied combinations that Atlanta does.
The Dream legitimately goes 10 players deep now that Kelly Miller is back from an ankle sprain. It’s not that I don’t think the Dream has used its depth well. The much-discussed change in the starting lineup for the postseason has been a success.
I just wonder if having more possible combinations is necessarily always a good thing in hoops. We tend to point to it as if it’s an obvious advantage – “Look at this team’s depth!” – and the Storm players do say that Atlanta’s changes in personnel make defending the Dream a different challenge than most other teams have.
But, still, I think about the extra layer of decisions a team like the Dream has to make. I don’t want to overstate the case. There’s plenty of time in practice to work on rotations and make everyone feel comfortable playing together.
It’s just that the Dream can go big with different combos, small with different combos, or mix it up with different combos. I thought seeing them throughout the season, they were a team that could present more looks than any other squad. An with the way the team has responded and how it’s coached, that’s been a positive thing.
But will that ultimately wear down the Storm? Or will it not make any difference?
In general, if you were a coach, would you prefer to have that many possibilities for whom you have on the floor? Or would you prefer it was less a matter of making personnel choices – meaning you had just eight players who were truly going to get any meaningful time – and more about just deciding the right things to do with them?
There’s not really a “right” answer here. It’s just a matter of choice.