A Closer Look: Lineups

When I ran the stats today for yesterdays' Sixers/Kings clash, it stood out to me how the coaching staff is still clearly trying to work out it's best lineups. The team has all the weapons but is still struggling to find who fits together best and which are it's best starting five, best finishing five and which other lineups work together the best.

The task has been made that much harder by releasing Daequon Montreal and replacing him with Brock Motum, bringing in Richie Edwards for a few games to cover for Mitch Creek and the 2 game injury to Jamar Wilson.

Motum had a great first game but has not reached those heights again, not giving Adelaide the upgrade it expected. Have a look at these numbers showing projected output per 40 minutes and see which one you'd rather have purely off numbers.

Player A- 22pts, 8.7reb, 1.8ast, 4.1to, 0.9stl, 1.4blk
Player B- 25.1pts, 8.4reb, 0.3ast, 5.8to, 0.6stl, 0.6blk

Pretty close right...which is kind of the point.

If you selected Player A, you selected Montreal. Superior in every category to Motum except points (plus he was part of 3 wins to Motum's 0)

Now I'm not criticising the move in any way but clearly Motum hasn't met expectations and he needs to find ways to help the team win ASAP.

So let's look at some of the lineup questions.

1/ Which 5 has played the most together?

Wilson/Gibson/Creek/Petrie/Schenscher have logged 26.03 minutes of court time together and have done well, netting a +11.

Only 5 other lineups have logged more than ten minutes together.

The most successful of the rest swaps Teys for Creek. That five has played 14:50 together and netted +13.

Of the still possible available lineups, the worst lineup to play 10+ minutes together is Gibson/Teys/Petrie/Motum/Schenscher, who have logged a disasterous -28.

2/ Who would I start?

I'm glad you asked. My favoured five (and I did this before looking at stats) would be Gibson/Teys/Creek/Petrie/Motum. That five has logged just 3:22 together and is at +7. All of those minutes came in Thursday's game. I think that's a great defensive unit, is pretty flexible offensively and has 5 guys who won't take a back step to anyone. It allows Schensch to anchor the defence when he comes in and Jamar to come on for Gibbo and take over the offense.

3/ Who would I finish?

All things being equal in a tight game I'd go for Gibson/Crawford/Teys/Petrie/Schenscher. That group has logged 14:26 together for +3. A good mix of shooting, defence, offensive options and experience.

4/ Aren't you getting hung up on lineups when we just need Gibbo and Motum to play better like Boti said on Adelaide Now today?

Well that would go a long way but I still think the team has some work to do on rotations and it's best units.

The finishing units were also a little confusing yesterday. With 2:09 left and the team down 79-83, these are the final five groups Adelaide put on the floor (remembering Creek had fouled out)

Wilson/Gibson/Teys/Petrie/Schenscher (x2)
Daly/Wilson/Gibson/Teys/Petrie (x2)

Motum was in the doghouse but those are some pretty small lineups.

Four units were used in the fourth quarter who'd not played together this season.

Getting your closeout lineup sorted is important and also who the go to scorer is. That should generally be Gibbo but he was not looking to shoot yesterday, much to the displeasure of the guy sitting behind me.

5/ Do Wilson & Gibbo work together?

Let's look at the numbers

Wilson/Gibson: -25
Daly/Wilson/Gibson: -22
Wilson/Teys: +8
Gibson/Teys: -3
Wilson/Crawford/Teys:  -29
Gibson/Crawford/Teys: +14
Wilson/Teys/Creek: +8
Gibson/Teys/Creek: +22

6/ Which bigs work best together?

More numbers

Petrie/Schenscher: -7
Petrie/Motum: +1
Petrie/Motum/Schenscher:   -27
Motum/Schenscher: +7

So if you looked at 5/ and 6/, you might think Gibson/Teys/Creek/Motum/Schenscher would be a good lineup too. It's a small sample size but they've gone +9 in 5:47 of time together. Another lineup worth putting a few minutes into.

With the Sunshine Swing up next, Adelaide needs to find some answers fast. It will be very hard to claw their way back from 3 & 9.

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