Which Starting 5 is better?

This year's version of the 36ers has been touted as one of the most talented in the league...and one of Adelaide's best groups since the late 90's. Currently though, the team sits at 5-5 and has suffered it's first casualty by releasing import CJ Massingale. In reality, is it much better than last year's group?

I ran some numbers and came up with this

Daniel JohnsonDaniel JohnsonChris WarrenAdam Gibson
30.79 min29.26 min32 min32.02min
16.5 pts14.7 pts14. 2pts12.2 pts
44% FG42% FG41 FG%39 FG%
7.7 reb7.9 reb3.2 ast4.9 ast
1 blk0.2 blk0.8 stl0.8 stl
Diamon SimpsonLuke SchenscherNathan CrosswellJason Cadee
24.61 min21.96 min22.4 min26.11 min
14.3 pts8.2 pts7.7 pts8.2 pts
59% FG43% FG46% FG39 FG%
8.6 reb6.8 reb4.7 ast2.8 ast
1.5 blk1.2 blk0.6 stl0.7 stl
Steve WeighSteve Weigh
31.26 min31.18 min
11.4 pts10.1 pts
40% FG45% FG
4.9 reb6.3 reb
0.3 blk0.3 blk
28.89 min27.47 min27.2 min29.07 min
14.1 pts11 pts10.5 pts10.2 pts
48% FG43% FG43.5 FG%39% FG
7.1 reb7 reb4 ast3.9 ast
0.9 blk0.6 blk0.7 stl0.8 stl

Weigh and Johnson remain from last year's group, with Schenscher coming in for Diamon Simpson. Simpson is a far better and more efficient scorer than Schenscher and surprisingly averaged more blocks and rebounds over the season than Big Luke has in his first 10 games. This year's DJ is rebounding at a marginally better rate but is shooting at a lower clip (more outside shots and at a worse percentage mainly). Weigh's scoring is slightly down but field goal percentage is up. Last year he a key part of the offense. This year he mainly walks around setting semi-screens and hoping for open 3's. He's been a better rebounder, due to the requirement for him to more be more of a role player.

Edge: Last year's frontcourt

This season we have two new starters in the backcourt with the addition of Jason Cadee and Adam Gibson. Chris Warren is gone and Nathan Crosswell has moved back to a more suited backup role. Last year's backcourt was a big part of our problem....as is this year's.

Chris Warren was brought in to be our point guard with Creek the likely starter at off-guard. It became evident soon though that Warren was a "2" stuck in the body of a "1", so he was moved to shooting guard and Crosswell was elevated to the starting point guard. Problem 1. Our import wasn't what we thought he'd be and all of a sudden Crosswell, who was likely slated for 10-15 minutes a game as Warren's backup, was now starting and playing a lot of minutes. It also messed with our backcourt rotations as we now had no true point guards on the bench but three off-guards in Ng, Herbert and Creek. It went severely pear-shaped when Crosswell went down with a season-ending injury, meaning Everard Bartlett was recruited and eventually (after a trial with Creek starting) became the starting point man.

This year's backcourt has also had issues for different reasons. Cadee and Gibson were excellent recruits for the club (I was particularly happy with the Cadee signing as written in this article ) and on paper looked like big upgrades over Crosswell and Warren. My hope though was that Cadee would be paired with a big-time scoring import (think a Willie Farley type). Adam Gibson is more of a combo guard and not a "pure" scorer. He can score in bunches (see his fourth quarter in last week's Sydney game and his first quarter versus Wollongong for examples) but he's more of a streaky jump shooter. The two other issues with this pairing are that Cadee plays very much within himself and even defers to Gibson when they are on together. Gibson in fact generally even brings the ball upcourt and picks the plays, making Cadee more of a shooting guard (ie the opposite of his genetics). I can remember two stretches of play where Cadee has "got loose" and both times he energised the team and looked like the player who'd a few years ago been touted as a likely future Boomer. As it stands now he's averaging 2.8 assists and shooting 39% for 8.5 points.

Edge: Even

2011-2012: Creek, Ng, Herbert, Helliwell, Bartlett (*Ballinger only played 5 games)
2012-2013- Creek, Petrie, Crosswell, Vasiljevic, Massingale  (*Massingale released, due to be replaced)

I haven't run all the numbers but the benches are hugely different. Only Mitch Creek returns from last year and his numbers per 40 are pretty similar. Unfortunately his minutes continue to decline though. The production from Ng and Massingale has been pretty similar if you account for allocated minutes. On a sidenote, imagine if we'd cut Ng after 10 games last year, who to the time was averaging 6.2pts a game in around 14 minutes a game (compared to CJ's 4 in 9 minutes). If that happened someone would have burned Adelaide Arena down. Or at least tweeted something pretty mean about Marty Clarke. Crosswell is an upgrade over Bartlett. Petrie is a different player but a big upgrade overall over Herbert. Helliwell gave lots more than Pero has so far.

Edge: This year's...thanks mainly to Petrie. Not a huge difference though.

Overall: This year's roster is more talented than last year's but so far isn't delivering the goods. On paper, the additions should have made a substantial difference. In reality, they aren't performing. Simpson was never going to come back, even if he hadn't cracked the NBA and Warren was not suited for our league. I still stand by my "request" that after Cadee was signed Adelaide should have got a scorer suited to him and a bruiser (think a Davis/Vlahov type) at the "4" to complement DJ. Schenscher and Gibson were probably the best Australian names out there but not necessarily the best match for the roster to that point.The major issue is that it appears DJ and Luke don't mesh well and Cadee and Gibson aren't gelling either....although they could.

The coach needs to fix it fast or he'll be gone next.

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