More on the big man pairings
What the heck, it’s defend Matt Bonner day here at 48MoH. Earlier today I posted about the lack of time on the court that Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter see together, even in late in games after the rotations have concluded. Basically saying that the improvement on offense with Bonner in the game is greater than the takeaways on defense.
Well, NBA.com has a fancy new stats tool for media folks to use. One of the things in there is the ability to look a lineup data, and narrow it down to all the five, four, three and two players were together on the court. For instance, we’re able to look at some of the numbers this season with different big men combination. At the risk of getting too deep and confusing myself and everybody reading, we’ll look at the offensive and defensive efficiency numbers for different combos of Spurs big men.
Offensive and defensive rating are points per 100 possessions. So a offensive rating of 104.8 would be 104.8 points scored per 100 possessions. Likewise, a defensive rating of 102.8 would be 102.8 points conceded in 100 possessions.
Combo Minutes per game Offensive Rating Defensive Rating
DeJuan Blair / Tiago Splitter 3.3 104.8 102.8
Blair / Tim Duncan 15.7 101.8 99.4
Duncan / Tiago Splitter 5.4 98.8 97.6
Duncan / Matt Bonner 7.4 111.2 97.7
Bonner / Splitter 11.9 114.2 98.8
Mind you, these are the totals for all lineups featuring those combos of players.
Now I will admit that the Duncan-Bonner combo has seen almost three times as many minutes as the Duncan-Splitter combo (about 362 minutes over 49 games to about 118 minutes in 22 games). My point isn’t to discount the lineups featuring Tiago and Tim, it’s simply to let you know that the lineups featuring Duncan and Bonner are not nearly as bad defensively as people think. Quite the opposite in fact. Even the lineup with Bonner and Splitter is good defensively. The .1 point difference in 100 possessions between Duncan with Bonner and with Splitter is practically nothing. The Duncan-Splitter combo could be better defensively over another 150-200 minutes, but as of right now it’s pretty much the same as Duncan-Bonner and the lineups featuring Bonner are a whole lot better offensively.