The regular season is a marathon, the playoffs are a sprint. In the NBA playoffs teams will play shortened lineups. This dramatically reduces the impact of a team’s bench on winning. Additionally, it makes it that much more important for teams to have star players at the top of their rotation.
Why it’s important:
This is both important for team construction and minute allocation. Building a team with a lot of depth will not help a team for post season success. Additionally in the playoffs teams will need to realize their opponents will be tougher because they will be playing their top players more. Good teams are able to use this concept while also building a team that can withstand the grind of the regular season.
Arturo Galletti broke this work down when he decided to analyze every playoff series for the 2010 season. He dubbed it his “Half Baked Notion” and displayed the difference in terms of both wins and minutes for team rotations.