We have a pretty good idea what the best lineups this year have been (the Heat, the Pacers, Oklahoma City) but which lineups have been the best recently? Put another way, which lineups have been on fire recently?
I looked at the last ten games, and I only considered lineups that had played at least 120 minutes (which is roughly an average of a quarter of basketball a game — not a trivial amount) to minimize sample size problems. What I found was that
- Memphis has had the best five-man lineup in the past 10 games (no surprise here as the Grizzlies are a top tier team).
- And Utah’s lineup was surprisingly good, considering that the Jazz have one of the worst lineups in the league — and this lineup plays more minutes than any other Jazz lineup. Has Ty Corbin found an effective lineup late into the season that can help deliver a playoff seed?
- The OKC lineup of Durant, Ibaka, Perkins, Sefolosha, and Westbrook have a net rating of -2.6 in the past ten games which means that when they play, they get outscored by 2.6 points. This is pretty surprising given that they have been one of the top lineups in the NBA this season. Are they getting tired (they have played a ton of minutes this season) or coasting to the finish line?
- The Toronto lineup has rebounded the hell out of their opponents — this is surprising considering that Toronto is 28th in the NBA in rebounds per game However, the Toronto lineups, in the past ten games, has gotten nearly 60% of all rebounds.
- The Utah lineup has been on fire. They have a true shooting percentage of 63% in the past ten games. In comparison, the best true shooting lineup in the league this season (Bosh, Chalmers, Haslem, James, Wade) have a true shooting percentage of 58.7%