Latest move from Frank Vogel a concern for Suns ahead of playoffs

The Phoenix Suns are gearing up for the playoffs, but the latest move from Frank Vogel is not ideal preparation for the postseason for the team.
Phoenix Suns v Milwaukee Bucks
Phoenix Suns v Milwaukee Bucks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The Phoenix Suns got back on track on Wednesday night with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers that was ugly at times, but ultimately ended in 115-102 win for the team. Both sides combined for only 44 points in the first-quarter, before a 39 point outburst from the Suns in the second frame allowed them to pull away.

This was another fantastic game for Grayson Allen, who finished with 32 points and outplayed a player in Tyrese Maxey who is among the favorites for the Most Improved Player award this season. Given that Allen has had zero mention with regards to that award, this was a timely reminder that he should be in consideration, and there are several metrics that would appear to back that up.

The Suns continued to have turnover issues in this one, but it was the player selection by head coach Frank Vogel that will have caused the most concern moving forward.

Nice as it was to see former point guard Isaiah Thomas play for two minutes as part of his 10-day deal with the organization, coach Vogel used no fewer than 14 players in this game. It is fair to point out that Thomas - along with four other players - only played in a couple of garbage time minutes.

But with only 14 games remaining in the regular season - and one of the toughest schedules left to play for this team - shouldn't coach Vogel have a better idea of who his guys are going to be for the playoffs? Typically a seven or eight man rotation is what teams go for, and yet Vogel went nine deep here before taking into consideration garbage time.

This wasn't a bad performance from Drew Eubanks either, but it has become clear that he cannot be relied upon heavily to provide quality backup minutes for center Jusuf Nurkic for long periods. It is easy to see a legitimate contender such as the Oklahoma City Thunder or Denver Nuggets really picking on Eubanks in a seven game series.

Which made the decision to give Thaddeus Young only two minutes of playing time just as strange. This was a game where the Suns pulled away against an undermanned opponent, and yet coach Vogel decided that giving Young more run was not the move here. Given that he was signed through the buyout market as a veteran for a playoff run, is this not exactly when he should be used?

This game was also only the fourth time Young has played for the Suns at all, and his time on the court has gone down (19, 10, 3 and now 2 minutes played) in each of those contests. So to have Young play as much as the recently added Thomas, David Roddy (a trade deadline addition), Ish Wainright (brought back for a second time) and Nassir Little didn't make sense.

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Right now it feels like coach Vogel trusts his top seven or eight guys - with Bol Bol the swing piece here in how he has forced his way into the rotation - and beyond that is unsure how or when to use everybody else on the roster. Which would not be a problem at all... if we were currently in the middle of November.

Instead the playoffs are right around the corner, and the coaching staff seems to be stuck between going with the best of what they've got, while also giving the second half of the bench spot minutes to prove they can break into the postseason rotation. Using 14 players on a Wednesday night against an Eastern Conference opponent just did not feel like the look for this team at this stage of the year.