Which Top 5 Lineup From This Year Was A Top 5 Lineup Last Year?

by JB

The five best 5-man lineups (based on net point differential per 100 possessions) from this year that have played at least 500 minutes together are

2012-2013 Games Played Minutes Offensive Rating Defensive Rating Net Rating
Durant, Ibaka, Perkins, Sefolosha, Westbrook (OKC), 63 1071 110 96 14
George, Hibbert, Hill, Stephenson, West (IND) 56 1061 108 94.5 13.5
Bosh, Chalmers, Haslem, James, Wade (MIA) 42 617 110 96.5 13.5
Allen, Conley, Gasol, Gay, Randolph (MEM) 35 631 101.6 93.2 8.3
Faried, Gallinari, Iguodala, Koufos, Lawson (DEN) 59 759 107.2 100 7.3

The five best lineups from last year that played at least 500 minutes together were

2011-2012 Games Played Minutes Offensive Rating Defensive Rating Net Rating
Dudley, Frye, Gortat, Hill, Nash (PHX) 45 747 111.2 98.7 12.5
Anthony,Bosh, Chalmers, James, Wade (MIA) 39 535 107.1 96.2 10.9
Collison, George, Granger, Hibbert, West (IND) 56 1000 106.9 97.2 9.7
Durant, Ibaka,Perkins, Sefolosha,Westbrook (OKC) 42 664 100.5 92.9 7.6
Butler, Foye, Griffin, Jordan, Paul (LAC) 44 648 108.2 100.9 7.3

Notice something interesting?  

Only the OKC lineup was a Top 5 lineup last year and this year.  (Yes, the Heat did come close swapping Joel Anthony (last year) for Udonis Haslem (this year); they do essentially the same thing — hustle, play defense, and set picks/try not to get in the way on the offensive end).

chart_2 (1)

chart_3 (1)

These graphs highlight the areas that OKC has grown between this season and last season.  OKC has gotten much more efficient offensively, and this is probably due to more or better passing, as evidenced by their relatively large jump in assist rate.  In every category, the Thunder have improved and seeing a very good young team keep growing from one year to the next is pretty awesome and unique in this day and age. One last point is that you can see the importance of Westbrook and the maturation of his decision-making (lack thereof?) especially when looking at the decrease in their turnover rate (I’ve already talked about the sharp increase in their assist rate).  What happens to Westbrook will determine what happens to the OKC offense.

2011-2012 Data

2012-2013 Data