5 NBA Players Who Need to Play Fewer Minutes

Andy HuSenior Writer IIJanuary 29, 2013

5 NBA Players Who Need to Play Fewer Minutes

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    It's certainly a luxury to be able to step onto the court and play in an NBA game. But sometimes, a player is just logging too many minutes at the expense of the team.

    There are various reasons for why a player's minutes should be decreased. Although some players are capable of holding their own, there could be a backup on the bench who could contribute much more in the allotted time.

    Without further ado, these five players should have their minutes reduced for the benefit of their respective teams.

Brandon Bass

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    It looks like the Boston Celtics already figured this one out recently, as Brandon Bass has registered less than 20 minutes per game for the last three games.

    However, he's still averaging nearly 26 minutes per game for the season even though he's been struggling since the start of it.

    Formerly a rather efficient player, Bass has seemed to have dropped off quite a bit and is now accumulating a mediocre 10.7 PER. He's also averaging his lowest field-goal percentage, points per-36 minutes and rebounds since the 2007-2008 season (per Basketball Reference).

    Furthermore, Jared Sullinger's emergence as a competent paint defender has made Bass expendable. With Bass' decrease in minutes lately coinciding with Sullinger's increased role, it's expected that he would see less and less playing time from here on out.

Metta World Peace

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    Make no mistake, Metta World Peace has been playing his best basketball since his name was still Ron Artest. However, 35 minutes a game is just too much for a player of his skill at this point in his career.

    He still remains a solid defender, even if he has fallen off quite a bit since he claimed his Defensive Player of the Year award nine years ago. 

    Nonetheless, World Peace is still inconsistent at times and should not be playing the same number of minutes as Dwight Howard.

    His supposed backup, Devin Ebanks, should at least see a few minutes on the floor. Ebanks is a great defender as well, and his energy off the bench would boost the Los Angeles Lakers' mildly slow pace.

Kosta Koufos

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    Now let's make this clear, Kosta Koufos has been solid in his 23 minutes per game as a starter. But his substitute, Javale McGee, has the highest ceiling of any Denver Nugget right now.

    McGee is only logging 18 minutes per game, mainly due to George Karl's willingness to play Koufos or even Kenneth Faried most of the time at center. 

    In any case, McGee is ranked fifth among all centers and 17th in the whole league in PER at 21.65 (Hollinger's Team Stats). On top of that, McGee was the one offered a $44 million contract over the offseason, not Koufos.

    Koufos is starting primarily because McGee hasn't shown that he can play a full game without making blatant mistakes. Although Coach Karl is way too harsh towards him at times, McGee should have a bigger role than Koufos by the time the playoffs are approaching.

John Salmons

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    Although the Sacramento Kings don't have that many options, John Salmons just hasn't been good ever since he rejoined the team last year.

    Salmons is currently third on the team in minutes per game (29.4), but he's only fifth in scoring (9.4 PPG) and eighth in PER at 12.2 (per ESPN). 

    His large amount of minutes on this team is sucking away playing time from his younger, quicker teammates like Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette. Heck, Thornton and Fredette are probably better players right now than Salmons.

    Fredette has played well near the beginning of the season, but inconsistent floor time has limited his production. Salmons should be playing approximately 18-20 minutes per game to allow the younger players to gain more experience and improve.

Jason Maxiell

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    This shouldn't come as a total shock, but why on earth is Lawrence Frank still starting Jason Maxiell in the lineup, let alone playing him nearly 26 minutes a game?

    He hasn't regressed or anything. In fact, Maxiell is having a solid season and putting up a career-high rebounding average, but he already reached his peak a few years ago. 

    At 6'7" and battling as an undersized power forward, Maxiell is the same player right now as he was in his prime. Simply speaking, he will not drastically improve or turn into a superstar overnight.

    On the other hand, Maxiell's backup and soon-to-be replacement, Andre Drummond, is only 19 years old and is already demonstrating he's ready for a much bigger role. Drummond is also registering an exceptional 22.37 PER, which leads all Detroit Pistons players, so he definitely deserves more playing time than Maxiell.