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Thread: Plus/minus 2011-12 season

  1. #1
    Artificial Intelligence wintermute's Avatar
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    Default Plus/minus 2011-12 season

    Yes, it's a tool, not the tool

    But guess which 5-man unit is leading the league in +/- at the moment?

    It's the Pacers' starting lineup, which has put up an impressive +84 in 224 minutes of play so far this season. In comparison, OKC's starting lineup has put up +35 in 258 minutes. Pretty impressive, eh? Unfortunately, our bench units have been putting up awful numbers. Keep in mind though, that sample size is still small this early in the season. But let's go ahead and look at the numbers anyway.

    First, the individual +/-. This is going to surprise some people, I think.

    Code:
    Player           +/-    Minutes
    D. Collison 	 104 	510:04
    D. Granger 	  95 	461:52
    R. Hibbert 	  63 	438:16
    D. West 	  61 	429:14
    P. George 	  56 	466:29
    J. Foster 	  43 	 72:39
    A. Price 	   9 	 59:47
    J. Pendergraph 	 -14 	  8:01
    G. Hill 	 -18 	351:49
    T. Hansbrough 	 -24 	373:36
    L. Stephenson 	 -26 	109:05
    L. Amundson 	 -35 	 95:57
    D. Jones 	 -54 	248:07
    The much maligned Messrs. Collison and Granger are leading the Pacers this season in +/- (and I've done my share of maligning on Collison). All the starters look good of course, thanks to that league leading starting lineup, but Collison and Granger are head and shoulders above the other starters. Foster, doing Foster things, also shows very well, albeit in limited minutes.

    The other surprise is that both Hill and Hansbrough (the other members of our core 7) are doing so poorly. This warrants a closer look at the 5-man lineups. Dahntay's poor numbers aren't so surprising, unfortunately.

    Next, our most used 5-man lineups according to 82games:

    Code:
    Rk Lineup                                      Minutes  Off     Def     +/-
     1 Collison-George-Granger-West-Hibbert 	165.0  	1.12  	0.92  	+64
     2 Collison-Hill-Granger-West-Hibbert 		36.7  	1.16  	0.77  	+25
     3 Collison-Hill-Granger-Hansbrough-Hibbert 	34.3  	0.75  	0.93  	 -8
     4 Collison-Jones-George-West-Hibbert 		27.1  	0.88  	1.10  	 -9
     5 Collison-George-Granger-Hansbrough-Hibbert 	26.3  	0.85  	1.04  	-11
     6 Hill-Stephenson-Jones-Hansbrough-Amundson 	16.3  	0.82  	1.15  	-10
     7 Price-Hill-Jones-Hansbrough-Foster 		14.1  	1.26  	0.91  	 +9
     8 Collison-Hill-George-Granger-Hansbrough 	11.6  	1.10  	0.61  	+11
     9 Hill-Jones-George-Hansbrough-Amundson 	10.7  	1.00  	0.95  	 -1
    10 Hill-Jones-George-West-Hansbrough 		10.4  	0.67  	1.89  	-22
    82games is around 2 games behind, but NBA.com doesn't show the worst +/- lineups If anyone knows a better source for +/- data, give a shout.

    "Off" and "Def" are essentially offensive rating and defensive rating; that is, points scored and points given up per possession.

    Probably only lineup #1 (the starters) has played enough minutes to draw conclusions from, and really the only conclusion from this is that they are pretty darn good. Scoring 112 pts per 100 possessions while giving up only 92, it's a beastly lineup both offensively and defensively (despite Granger misfiring).

    However, it's not even the Pacers' best 5-man unit! I'd say that distinction goes to lineup #2, which is essentially the starters with Hill replacing Paul G. That lineup scores 116 and gives up a ridiculous 77 pts per 100. The caveat is, it's a relatively small sample size. The other nice 5-man groups are #7, which is surprising because it doesn't have a single starter, and #8, which is a small ball lineup. Again, limited minutes.

    On the negative side of things, our bench units suck pretty bad, especially on offense. Check out the offensive efficiency of lineups 3-6. That's pretty awful, despite the presence of starters in those units. It seems like we're really struggling to find chemistry past the starting lineup. Why does replacing West and George with Hans and Hill (lineup #3) cause our offensive efficiency to plummet? In particular, all the combinations with Hibbert and Hans playing together don't seem to work well.

    By the way, we have the answer to why Hill and Hansbrough have poor individual +/-. They're part of many poor performing 5-man units, even though they're part of some good ones too.

    So what do we have from this early season +/- analysis? First, Collison and Granger are absolutely key players for the Pacers, despite their poor individual statistics. Second, our starters are great, but our bench needs work. I guess Vogel has a lot more experimenting to do on the rotations to come up with other lineups that work.

    I don't think it would be the worst idea in the world to start Hill at SG and bring Paul G off the bench. Yeah it would hurt to lose George's defense from the starting lineup but Hill is no slouch as a defender himself. It would lead to a shakeup in the rotation, with George possibly becoming more of a scorer with the second unit and more minutes going to the third string PG (either Price or Lance, take your pick). Obviously the big argument against such a move is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and our starting lineup sure doesn't look like it needs fixing at the moment. Our bench on the other hand could definitely use some tinkering.

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  3. #2
    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plus/minus 2011-12 season

    Interesting post, and of course with mostly limited numbers, but #8 appears to be our best lineup, not number #2 as you said. Lineup #2 is outscoring it's opponents my 39 point, however lineup #8 is outscoring its opponents by 49 points.

    Lineup number eight includes; Collison-Hill-George-Granger-Hansbrough. I would like to see the numbers of the same group, but with Hibbert instead of Hans playing center.

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    Default Re: Plus/minus 2011-12 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    Interesting post, and of course with mostly limited numbers, but #8 appears to be our best lineup, not number #2 as you said. Lineup #2 is outscoring it's opponents my 39 point, however lineup #8 is outscoring its opponents by 49 points.

    Lineup number eight includes; Collison-Hill-George-Granger-Hansbrough. I would like to see the numbers of the same group, but with Hibbert instead of Hans playing center.
    There is a very specific reason why #8 has such good numbers. It is a very situational line-up that when used at the right time could be awesome, but at the wrong time or used too often and it could be disasterous.

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    Default Re: Plus/minus 2011-12 season

    Yep I remember when people tried to tell us that the lineup of DC,Mike Dunleavy,Danny, Josh and Hibbert was the best lineup ever, the +/- numbers even had the Pacers starting unit as a top five unit or something like that

  7. #5
    Artificial Intelligence wintermute's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plus/minus 2011-12 season

    Update after the Orlando game - well that was a stinker. Almost everyone was down after that game, but the season trends still hold. I'm not planning to do a game by game update though, so I probably won't revisit the numbers until roughly mid-season.

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    Interesting post, and of course with mostly limited numbers, but #8 appears to be our best lineup, not number #2 as you said. Lineup #2 is outscoring it's opponents my 39 point, however lineup #8 is outscoring its opponents by 49 points.

    Lineup number eight includes; Collison-Hill-George-Granger-Hansbrough. I would like to see the numbers of the same group, but with Hibbert instead of Hans playing center.
    Good catch, but as Eleazar says it seems to be more of a situational lineup. I guess the concern would be whether Granger could hold up playing the 4 for long stretches.

    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81 View Post
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    Yep I remember when people tried to tell us that the lineup of DC,Mike Dunleavy,Danny, Josh and Hibbert was the best lineup ever, the +/- numbers even had the Pacers starting unit as a top five unit or something like that
    Well it was 6th in the league - for the 35 games we played it. Since we stopped using that lineup though, there's no way now to know whether it would have held up in the long run.

    During the latter half of the season, as I recall the starting lineups we were using were regularly getting beaten up and being rescued by the bench. And indeed the 5-man +/- tells the same story.

    I don't like using +/- to say Player X is better than Player Y. On the other hand, I think it's very useful for pointing out which lineups are playing well together.
    Last edited by wintermute; 01-25-2012 at 06:42 AM.

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