- Bradford Doolittle, ESPN Staff Writer
Some players think they play too much. There likely aren't many of those players -- and most of those who do think that way may play for Tom Thibodeau -- but we can be sure that the number of overwrought players pales in comparison to the ones who want more minutes.
Pretty much every part-time player wants more court time, and thinks he deserves it. Some of the part-timers are right, and I'm going to point out a few of them now. We did this last year, too. Not many of those guys ended up actually getting more time, though in most cases, I felt like they should have. In last year's piece, we noted a basic tenet of basketball analysis: Per-unit production is more important than, and highly predictive of, full-time production.
Last season in the NBA, there were 36 players with a PER at or above the league average of 15.0 who nevertheless spent at least half of every game on the bench. (Among guys who played at least 500 minutes.) Not all three dozen of those players really deserved more time. Some are limited by specialized skill sets. Some are old, injured or both, and need their minutes limited. Some can't defend. Some simply compiled nice numbers against other teams' reserves.
A handful of these players, however, are on the upswing, and have enough versatility in their arsenals to merit a longer look. Some of them may even have openings on their respective depth charts to carve out a bigger role.
Here's a look at five high-performing or promising part-time players who deserve more minutes this season.
Mason Plumlee | PF/C | Brooklyn Nets
8hSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann