I was in just this same situation on Tuesday night. Early in the third quarter we were down by 27 points and we were playing on the road. I took a chance and played my normal rotation. Going into the fourth quarter we are down by 16. That is still a lot of points to make up in 8 minutes. With 4:50 left we cut it to 9 points. We ended up winning the game by 5.
I’ve got a couple of kids on my bench that didn’t receive playing time. (This is high school varsity boys basketball). They know that playing time is earned, not given and is also based on talent.
When do you make that call? When do you stick to your normal rotation? I don’t know the answer. I’ve made the wrong call before in that same situation. Those bench players that don’t play much understand, if they are team players, when you win. But when you make the wrong call and you lose?