Quantitative Continuity -- A look the Jazz lineups from last year to this year

Mar. 14, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Utah Jazz forward Paul Millsap (24) puts up a shot against the Phoenix Suns during the second half at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Jazz 120-111. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE.

I had a stream of consciousness post about how I'm happy with some of the big picture things the Jazz are doing. That doesn't mean we're perfect. I am interested in this idea of continuity, as it seems to develop trust, and familiarity between players and groups of players. After all, this is still a team sport. You can't plug in different pieces and expect to find that 'optimum' group. This isn't like installing a new video card in your PC. This is trying to find that tricky thing called team chemistry and dynamics. I do think continuity helps here.


This year our starting lineup (before Tyrone Corbin went with Raja and Josh -- which would have been our starting lineup to finish the season if it wasn't for injuries) was Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Gordon Hayward, Raja Bell, and Devin Harris. You had two solid post guys, one with more moves the other with more range. An up and coming 'glue' guy who can do a bit of everything. A spot up shooter who didn't need the ball to be effective, all led by a speedy PG who has three point range. Clearly this team was supposed to be awesome. And clearly, this team has mixed results on the court.

I wanted to see how good this line up was this year, and compare it to last year. Well, I found some bad news for fans of continuity.

2010-11 vs. 2011-12:

I was worried about the sample sizes here. Why? Well, this year was a lock out shortened year so who knows what the numbers would be like. Well, lo and behold, I should have been worried about the data on the other end of the spectrum.

Pos Points
Min For Opp For Opp ORTG DRTG Net RTG
2010-2011 0.28 . 1 1 . 0 2 . 0 200 -200
2011-2012 384.37 . 720 720 . 757 803 . 105.14 111.53 -6.39

[Click on the links to the pages at BasketballValue.com]

What the heck, guys?

.

This Data is useless:

This data is useless.

.

Continuity:

This year our starting lineup played only 384.37 minutes together. I did not think that was a lot. Well, the year before the guys who would be the starters in the very next year had previously only played 0.28 total minutes together on the floor.

I'm a big fan of the concept that the whole should be greater than the sum of their parts; however, it's really hard to build that familiarity and continuity (like how the Spurs shooters know where to be when Parker penetrates) moving forward if there is such a disparity in use from year to year. This was supposed to be a hard numbers-y post on how much better this group is this year. Well, they are, but there's no valid comparison as the 2010-11 group played 16 some seconds together. I guess this post will be more valid and interesting NEXT season.

Never fear SLC Dunkers -- I'm going to write something stats-y tonight. I just gotta figure it out.

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