Where's Diamon?

The message boards have been bombarded over the last few days with complaints about the 36ers loss to Cairns. One of the major questions has been "where was Diamon in the last quarter?". Simpson was benched for almost 8 minutes of the last quarter and brought back on when the game was gone. Diamon watching from the bench during the last quarter isn't a new thing though. Have a look at his 4th quarter minutes in our wins.

Perth- 0:00
Melbourne- 1:38
Perth- 8:43
Wollongong- 3:29
Sydney- 0:00

So of a possible 50 minutes he's played 13:40. He's obviously a poor FT shooter (47% for the season) but why would arguably our best player be benched so much in the 4th? He hasn't had a Dwight game yet. Let's look at his +/- for those wins.

Perth: -2
Melbourne: +7
Perth: +9
Wollongong: +35
Sydney: -3

The one obvious correlation there is that he played the most 4th quarter minutes in his best +/- games and got 0 minutes in his two "minus" games. Here's his stats for those 5 wins

Perth: 11 minutes, 10 points, 3 boards
Melbourne: 23 minutes, 18pts, 12 boards
Perth: 26 minutes, 22pts, 10 boards
Wollongong: 25 minutes, 22pts, 10 boards
Sydney: 15 minutes, 6pts, 9 boards

So what does it all mean? I think he's our best player and should be playing in the 4th quarter regardless. Sometimes he's had foul issues, sometimes the team has gone on runs but you've got to play your best players. Marty must have sensed something in those 2 games he benched Simpson for the whole of the 4th but the interesting thing is his numbers were good to that point. If you double his minutes in those Perth and Sydney games and hence double his output, he, in theory, would have tallied 20 and 6 and 12 and 18.

In our last 3 games (all losses), here's his 4th quarter minutes

Cairns- 8:51 minutes, 2 off. reb, 2/3 fg, drew 3 fouls, 4/5 ft, 2 blocks, 1 turnover

NZ- 0 min

Cairns- 2:04. No stats.

I'd love to see him given a good go in the 4th, given a chance with a lineup of Herbert, Creek/Ng, Weigh and Johnson. I won't hold my breath though.

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