2017-18 lineup analysis

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Crow
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Re: 2017-18 lineup analysis

Post by Crow » Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:37 pm

The sample sizes are usually small because of the coaching behavior.

The raw or adjusted lineup performance is not a sure guide but imo it is the best starting point for a guess when everyone is guessing. Add subjective on top but start with the performance.

It can be shown that dink lineups on average underperform the most used lineups. Very few teams I have ever checked had dink lineup performance better than non-dink lineups and usually both were good or bad and thus dink lineup performance was not at much advantage. Comprehensive historic studies show the same thing on average.

Respect different competencies and roles but do not overdo it. Imo coaches have been given far too much freedom on lineups and many have not proven they deserve it. I would argue many have proven they DON'T. Look at coaches with majority or super majority of top 5-10 lineups negative (in regular season or playoffs), high dink lineup %s and win% for all lineups or dink lineups in low 30%s or in some cases high 20s. You can have bad luck or bad stretches on a few but there are coaches who have bad lineups all season or for multiple seasons without any change of behavior or result.

I left room for discretionary situational lineups. One might differ on how much room to leave or how strict to be or be totally hands off. I think being hands-off is the real extreme, problematic position that too many front offices take or approximate more than the reverse.

Are you fine with the freedom that resulted in all the lineup result examples in this thread, in / after say January, and bigger minute lineup posts I've made in prior years?

Setting targets with mutual approval is a deliberate, cooperative approach. Coaches making it up on their own, usually in the moment is less than that. It is often not refined, consistent with history or analytics. If some want to continue that way go ahead. I don't. I've seen even the greatest coaches do highly questionable lineup management for seasons and playoff series that probably should have discussed more or flat changed.

My view is that lineup management is not 5-10% "off" (though in a league where 1-2 pts matters and is worth a lot, even this would be significant) but rather it is way to way, way more off depending on team and that the status quo behavior is totally outdated and unacceptable. But that is just my view based on my analysis & experience. fwiw to anyone else.

If someone with 20 plus years of inside NBA experience looked at the data the way I have they should be able to interpret it even better and override it with a higher success rate but I think they'd do better using this approaching along whatever else they do than to not do rigorous quantitative lineup analysis.

Even teams getting acceptable or good lineup results may have sub-lineup inefficiencies that they are not aware of or dealing with sufficiently.

Crow
Posts: 5285
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: 2017-18 lineup analysis

Post by Crow » Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:19 pm

First lineup detail mentioned in this thread: the Ferrell, Matthews, Barnes trio for Mavs. Identified as bad in late October. Rick Carlisle goes ahead with it, makes it his 2nd most used trio. -5.6 per 100 possessions. Twice as bad as team's overall bad performance. Pairs within the trio started bad and stayed bad. But hey coach's freedom of choice was great for being bad.

Coaching discretion probably could be higher at start of year. Some super early trends may turn around, especially if something changes. Injuries heal, different play calls / shot distributions, defensive schemes, rookie awareness & execution, etc. Small sample lineup analysis at least causes it to asked if the leaders think it is as good or bad as it has been so far. But as season progresses, there is a stronger basis to pay attention to the results, especially if a team runs a rational lineup use / testing program.

Crow
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: 2017-18 lineup analysis

Post by Crow » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:42 am

Blazers 5 most used lineups, avg. performance of plus 4.3 pts per 100 possessions. Everything else (dink and a few slightly bigger) , plus 1.8.

Crow
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: 2017-18 lineup analysis

Post by Crow » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:50 am

Raptors most used 5, plus 10.5. Rest of lineups, 5.6.

Crow
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: 2017-18 lineup analysis

Post by Crow » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:58 am

Celtics most used 5, plus 8.6 pts / 100 poss. Rest of lineups, plus 2.2.

Crow
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: 2017-18 lineup analysis

Post by Crow » Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:05 am

There are limits how much players will play overall, so you can't play totally stacked with best player lineups all the time and you have to fill out a full rotation responsibly; but most teams have too low concentration of use of better tested good lineups. Lower than feasible. Often absurdly lower.

Crow
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: 2017-18 lineup analysis

Post by Crow » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:34 pm

It appears than only 4 of the top 15 lineups on JE's 5 man RAPM played over 400 minutes last season. Seems like many probable significant losses of potential edge production if they had played more. These were estimated at adjusted plus 9-10 pts / 100 possession lineups not used even 5 minutes per game. I'd consider these major coaching mistakes on the surface unless offset by other evidence. A couple teams had 2 or more and that is more understandable / accepted. But generally the coaches knew this information and ignored / dismissed / forgot it or they didn't know it. Unacceptable imo any of these ways. Injuries somewhat impaired a couple but all of them could have played more. And probably should have. And management & analytics didn't get the coach to do that. Too much deference, too much willingness to allow random, inefficient lineups.

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