Why is Yi playing so many minutes?
Is the objective here to keep the Chinese Government happy or to win basketball games? Because by my count, Yi Jianlian played his 15th below average game in a row last night, yet he continues to start and continues to play the bulk of minutes while backup Charlie Villanueva sits on the bench.
Sure, Villanueva sucks a little worse than Yi... but that's over the course of the season. Unlike Yi, Villanueva has at least mixed in some good games this past month, and he brings scoring to the table, something that, with Michael Redd out of the lineup, the Bucks desperately need at the moment (and which should have been apparent at the half when they only had 35 points). Right now, Yi brings next to nothing.
Got the Small Lineup Blues
I don't understand the Bucks affinity for the small lineup. Especially when they play Charlie Bell at small forward. He is woefully undersized for that position, more so than even his "head height" suggests.
In fact, its long been my contention that NBA teams should disregard a player's normal height, and should only consider what I call his "basketball height". That is, his standing reach. After all, you do not shoot a ball from the top of your head, you do not block shots with the top of your head, and you do not grab rebounds with the top of your head. You do all those things at the apex of your reach. Thus, standing reach is the important "height variable" for basketball purposes.
According to his predraft measurement, Charlie Bell's basketball height is 8'1''. That is, at best, good enough to play point guard. The typical small forward in the NBA is at least 8'7''. Bobby Simmons is 8'9'' while Desmond Mason is 8'10''.
By comparison, Maurice Williams is 8'2'', and Royal Ivey is 8'1''. With those two and Bell on the floor for extended minutes, is it any wonder the Bucks got outrebounded by 17 last night?
By the way, there was a guy who was available on the Bucks bench last night who can play small forward and who has a standing reach of 9'1''. His name is Charlie Villanueva. But, of course, going big like that is just stupid.