Top 5-man lineups in NBA. Guess the Warriors contribution

Golden State Warriors

The lineup: Jarrett Jack–Stephen Curry–Klay Thompson–David Lee–Carl Landry
The numbers: 198 minutes, Golden State's second most-used lineup

A group that should have been a change-of-pace scoring force has turned into Golden State's closing lineup, and it is blowing the doors off opposing defenses behind its five-man versatility and a hail of 3-point shots. In 197 minutes together, this group has scored about 117 points per 100 possessions — about 6.5 points better than Oklahoma City's league-best overall offense.

This group features three very good passers, two point guards, one solid post-up player (Lee) and one great one (Landry), and two of the most prolific outside shooters in the league. They've shot 55 percent on 2-point shots and a whopping 43 percent on triples, and they shoot a ton of the latter — nearly 25 per 48 minutes, well above the team's overall average. Those shooting percentages are probably unsustainable, especially considering the number of mid-range shots these guys take, but at least it comes from whip-smart passing; this unit has assisted on 66 percent of its baskets, up from Golden State's overall number (59.7 percent) and a mark that would lead the league.

Golden State can do almost anything with this lineup. They've often shifted point guard duties to Jack in crunch time, allowing Curry and Thompson to come jetting off screens on either side of the floor, catch the ball, and either shoot or run a quick-hitting pick-and-roll with whichever big is nearby. The Curry-Lee pick-and-roll is devastating enough on its own, and while Landry isn't on Lee's level as a pick-and-roll threat, the wing on this play can simply dump the ball into Landry for a post-up try.

The Warriors also like to run a Jack-Lee pick-and-roll on the left side, with Curry lurking as a kickout option up top, and they can always play through Lee in the high post and have the guards screen for each other off the ball.

And that's just scratching the surface.

The questions will come on the other end, especially as those shooting numbers regress to the mean. This group is undersized at almost every position, and it is beginning to show leaks; opponents have scored 105.3 points per 100 possessions against this lineup, on par with what Phoenix's 26th-ranked defense allows. Wings with strong post games can attack Thompson, and though Lee and Landry have been game all season, some big guys are just going to be too big for them.

The result has been some defense-bending double-teams and a ton of fouls; only the Raptors have allowed more free throws per shot attempt on a team level than this lineup. The scary thing: Opponents have shot a putrid 28.9 percent from deep against this group, and while that's in part a reflection of Golden State's attention to detail, it's also bound to change. Golden State has thrown out some zone to make up for the size and quickness issues, but top teams will eat that up if they get more than one or two cracks at it.

Long story short: This has been a wonderful story, but if the Warriors want to have some real postseason success, they'll need Andrew Bogut.
Posted by: New Warriors (44) on 13-01-08 03:58:48 | Advertiser

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  • Top 5-man lineups in NBA. Guess the Warriors contribution New Warriors  13-01-08 03:58:48 (196 views)