Only 6 players used

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Only 6 players used

Postby John Grasso » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:56 am

The Pistons on Friday night only used six players. Does anyone know the last time an NBA team only used six players?
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Postby MCT » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:11 am

According to a graphic that I saw on SportsCenter this morning, this is the fourth time it has happened since the NBA-ABA merger. IIRC, the other teams, and the seasons they did it in, were as follows:

Raptors, 1995-96

Pacers, 2004-05

Warriors, 2009-10

The Pacers game was presumably in the wake of the infamous brawl in Detroit, when Indiana had several players suspended. The Warriors game was discussed here at the time it happened (see http://apbr.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2608 , specifically Mike G.'s post halfway down the thread). Not sure what the story was with the Raptors.

The Pistons used only six players because all of the team's other players had missed or been late for the team's shootaround earlier in the day. Head coach John Kuester decided to use only the six players who had showed up on time, and to bench everyone else. There have apparently been rumblings lately about a player mutiny against Kuester, leading to speculation that what happened was an organized "sick-out". An article that I saw a little while ago claims that this was not the case, labelling this as a "perfect storm" in which every player but one (Richard Hamilton) had a specific explanation for missing or being late to the shootaround, and did not intentionally do so as part of an organized scheme.
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Postby John Grasso » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:31 pm

Thanks, Patrick. I didn't remember any of those games.


Here's an article from Bleacher Report.com that I found on the 11/24/09 Golden State game.


The Golden State Warriors only needed six healthy bodies to come out with the most valuable of wins against the Dallas Mavericks who had won five straight games.

Monta Ellis scored a season-high 37 points, dished out eight assists, and had four steals.

Stephen Curry came through in crunch time to score 11 of his 18 points in the final 3:50 of the game, while Anthony Morrow had a spectacular performance with 27 points and 9 rebounds.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect about the victory was how energetic and determined the young players performed without Don Nelson.

Most importantly, Corey Maggette did not set foot on the court last night.

Warriors' fans might have already seen the future head coach for the team in Nelson's top assistant Keith Smart.

And smart he is.

Smart, who filled in as the head coach for the ill Nelson, decided to go with three guards and not insert Maggette in the game at all. Incorporated in that reasoning was Vladimir Radmanovic, who had rebounded exceptionally well (12 rebounds), and provided a sound defensive game against Dirk Nowitizki.

The 45-year-old assistant also realized that Jason Kidd, JJ. Barea, and Jason Terry do not have any intention, or chance, of defending Curry or Ellis' quickness. Therefore, sticking to playing Ellis, Curry, and Morrow together was the correct decision.

In addition, Smart noticed, just like Nelson did in the 2007 playoffs, that Nowitizki does not like being defended by smaller players. Nelson decided to put Stephen Jackson on Nowitizki in the 2007 playoffs, and Smart decided to put Radmanovic against the 7-footer last night. Nowitzki detests going against smaller players due to the fact that they make him defend on the other end—an aspect which Nowitzki is not known for.

On the offensive end, and for the first time since entering the league, Morrow looked like the player Warriors' fans envisioned he would become. Firstly, Morrow did not stand still and wait for Curry or Ellis to deliver him the ball for a guaranteed three. Morrow kept moving on every play, and in some instances decided to attack the basket.

If Morrow continues to play the way he has played, he will be one of the best shooters in the league.

Another aspect worth noting is how Ellis and Curry are starting to mesh and understand each other's games. Curry made three incredible plays towards the end of the game. He hit a three pointer after Ellis saw he was open, made a perfect pass to Anthony Randolph for a dunk, and hit a one-handed runner over Nowitzki.

Along with Curry, Ellis has been the main leader on this team. Down eight in the fourth quarter, Ellis jumped into the team huddle during a timeout and urged the team to continue fighting. Ellis' defensive game has also been a standout. He is becoming a more complete player on the court.
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Postby John Grasso » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:52 pm

Dates of the other two games were 11/20/04 ORL 86 IND 83 @ ORL
and 3/31/96 LAL 111 @ TOR 106.

ESPN.com has an article on the Pacers game but I couldn't find one on
the Raptors game. Box scores are available on basketball-reference.com
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Postby todd_spehr35 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:48 am

Here is the recap of the TOR-LAL game, and while it mentions the six-players used it doesn't mention a reason as far as I can see:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/scores96 ... 091332.htm
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Re: Only 6 players used

Postby MCT » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:24 pm

According to a post from 'gorba77' in the thread below...

http://apbr.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2608

..this has happened one additional time since the original discussion in this thread, bringing the number of times it has happened since the NBA-ABA merger to five. The fifth occurrence was by the Miami Heat against the Philadelphia 76ers on 4/15/2015. This was the final game of the 2014-15 season for both teams.

I can also report on a "false positive" post-merger six-player game. In working on my 1980-81 project, I discovered that the box score that ran in The Sporting News for the Jazz-Warriors game on 3/4/1981 shows the Jazz using only six players. Since the TSN boxes scores are b-r.com's box score source for the 1980-81 season, b-r.com also shows the Jazz using only six players in this game:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/box ... 40GSW.html

I am fairly certain that the Jazz actually used more than six players in this game, however. I have found that it is not uncommon for players' games played totals from the TSN box scores to add up to fewer games than official NBA stats credit them with playing in. The TSN box scores only showed a limited range of statistics (FG, FT, FTA, PTS), and it appears that they would sometimes omit players who did not accumulate any stats that would have been shown in the box score. There are three players who have this issue with their 1980-81 games played total who were on the Jazz' active roster at the time the 3/4/1981 game was played, but are absent from the box score. I strongly suspect that at least one of these players, possibly all three, actually played in that game. One of the three, Allan Bristow, is credited with playing in all 82 games, but only appears in 81 TSN box scores (all but this game). If Bristow really played in all 82 games, he has to have played in this game.
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Re: Only 6 players used

Postby gorba77 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:53 am

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