Where Quincy Acy falls into the rotation may be the puzzle piece that lets you unlock the rest of the rotation. If he’s playing 20 minutes per night, you have one opinion of the frontcourt; 12 minutes and just 60 games, a dramatically different one. You can already predict that Rick Carlisle loves Acy, just from his style of play. But how many actual, on-court minutes will that lead to?
Here’s a brief, slightly edited email conversation we had over the weekend about this topic. If anyone thinks Quincy Acy is actually going to play 39 minutes per game and win the MVP, please let us know. That’s the one scenario we haven’t accounted for yet.
Rami Michail: I actually think we're sleeping or not mentioning enough of Dwight Powell being the center and Quincy Acy the power forward. I think Mejri-Powell becomes Wright-Blair, where it comes down to matchups.
Looking at rotations, Acy could easily be the second or third player off the bench. I can't decide if Anderson or him would sub in for Dirk. It depends if Rick Carlisle wants Barnes at power forward.
Doyle Rader: I'm with you. Powell will likely get the majority of his playing time as the backup center. Acy is a 4 all the way.
Tim Cato: I don't think Acy will be a rotation guy. 50-60 games, maybe.
Josh Bowe: Yeah, I think Acy will be situational/have some spurts but not be an every night player. He'll be the energy guy they need when they're slogging through a first quarter in mid-January.
Barnes will be the backup 4 and Powell and Mejri will rotate backup 5 duties. Powell might get some burn as a backup 4 when Barnes and Dirk both need breathers.
Tim: He's the type of guy who Rick loves, so I have no doubt he'll play. But not as a regular rotation dude, nah, he’s the 10th man at best.
Rami: I think Acy's minutes will come down to how much Carlisle wants to play Barnes at power forward. If he gets a lot of minutes there, then Acy will have a more limited role.
I see Acy having Aminu potential and eventually getting a pretty good role (like 12-15 minutes).
The team will do everything they can to prove Powell earns that money, so I think he'll get a good chunk of center minutes. Mejri will probably get most of his minutes when Bogut gets early foul trouble or if a legit big center is in.
Tim: Carlisle is gonna play Barnes at PF a good amount. I don’t think it will always be Barnes or Dirk, but it’ll be a lot of Barnes and Dirk. You’ll see Acy there, you’ll see Powell there, you’ll even see Justin Anderson there, but you won’t see them for major minutes.
The problem with Acy is just a numbers game. J.J. Barea, Devin Harris and Seth Curry all need minutes in the backcourt. Justin Anderson and Dwight Powell are ahead of him in the frontcourt. With all three of those guards needing minutes, you’ll still see three-guard rotations, pushing Barnes to the four. Those small rotations are out of necessity, in a lot of instances, just so you have enough ball handlers to create offense.
Acy has a role. I don’t think it’s an every game role, though.