One nice thing that came out of last night's win was our ability to produce when going small at the PF position.
Last year (after the trade), we spent a ton of time with either Noc or [gasp] Deng at the 4 and suffered horribly from a +/- standpoint. This is even more dumbfounding when you realize that we have three guys (Thomas, Noah, Gooden) who can easily eat up the 96 front court minutes between them - especially if you are giving any minutes to Gray.
Despite this depth, we had over 6 minutes last night (over 13% of the game) playing "small" in the frontcourt. Unlike last year, however, we managed to be +10 during those minutes last night. I think a lot of that has to do with the match-ups during this "small" time. Most of Noc's time at PF was when Bogut and Villanueva were on Milwaukee's bench, meaning we were facing a frontcourt of the likes of Allen and Gadzuric. Against these types of lines, we can stomach being small upfront - but only with these types of matchups.
Some final thoughts on us going small upfront: I noticed while writing this that Noc's time at the 4 last night pretty much accounts for Tyrus's time onthe bench. That's awesome, because it means Tyrus played over 41 minutes!
The other thing I noticed is that Noc's minutes at PF came around the change in quarters, after Thomas/Gooden had played extended stretches to start each half. Noah could only come in for one of them, so it was often Noc in for the other shortly thereafter. If we are going to run our starting front court for long durations like this, then seeing Noc at the 4 is inevitable. But I don't like it, because I keep thinking there's got to be a way to rotate Noah-Thomas-Gooden in such a way that two of them are on the floor at all times. I'd even prefer Gray/Noah or Gray/Gooden over Noah/Noc or Gooden/Noc for the times we need to spell Thomas and one of Noah/Gooden. With Gooden playing 28 minutes and Noah getting only 19, there's got to be a way to play one of them during those times.
Don't take this as a rip against Andres; I love what he does for this team. I just think he should be doing it at the 3, not at the 4...