NBA coaches are constantly tinkering with their five-man units. Whether someone starts or not really takes a back seat to the primary concern of which players work well together, and only then, how match-ups can be exploited. In the very least, lineup data can tell us which combinations of Wizards have best played together with success (must less whom they are doing it against… high- or low-quality opponents). The lineup statistics for these 2011-12 Wizards also tell of a failed plan from the start. But if the ultimate goal was to get a top four pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, then maybe Ernie Grunfeld & Co. haven’t failed after all.
Eighteen different five-man units have played 25 or more minutes together for Washington this season. Below is the distribution of those lineups ranked by minutes played, and including the plus/minus per 48 minutes for that lineup. Yes, one lineup this season played 41 minutes together and would have been down by 38.4 points had they hypothetically played an entire game together against hypothetical competition. It’s hypothetically pretty sad. I’ve bolded the five lineups with a positive plus/minus per 48 minutes, if that helps.
OK, so what if we were to rank those 18 lineups by best to worst plus/minus per 48 minutes, but hiding all names except for those of JaVale McGee, Nick Young, Andray Blatche and Nene. What if… Read more »