After 240 Minutes of Data...

Five games into the season and we are 2-3. It's not where I thought we'd be by now, but there's still a lot of basketball to be played.

There have been times this year that I said "This is how Jazz basketball is supposed to be played" and "This looks like a Jazz team" and other times I've been at a loss for words on what is happening on the court.

After tonight's loss to the Phoenix Suns and some rants about the lineups used by Snyder, I decided I needed to look at some data - if for no other reason than to get my mind off the loss.

Upon seeing that hasn't been updated since the end of the 2016-2017 basketball year, I wandered over to's line-up analysis tool (link here) and did some investigating.

What I found intrigued me.

First, in 240 minutes, Snyder has used a total of 53 different lineups or about one every 4.5 minutes of game time. That seems like an unusually high number of lineups over the first five games.

Twenty three of those lineups were used a grand total of one minute or less; eighteen were used for a span of 2 to 5 minutes; five lineups stayed together between 6 and 8 minutes; and seven lineups have been used for 10 or more minutes for approximately 57% of the total minutes.

My observation - Snyder seems to be tinkering. He's got several new players and is trying to find the units that work well with each other and with different matchups (not to mention we've had injuries and yet another case or two of gastric distress).

Let's look at the seven most used lineups:

1. Favors, Gobert, Hood, Ingles, Rubio - 45 minutes or 19% of minutes (89.5 offensive rating; 105.1 defensive rating; net rating of -15.6)

2. Favors, Gobert, Ingles, Mitchell, Rubio - 30 minutes or 13% of minutes (91.4 offensive rating; 110.5 defensive rating; net rating of -19.1)

3. Favors, Gobert, Ingles, Rubio, Sefolosha - 14 minutes or 6% of minutes (84.5 offensive rating; 81.3 defensive rating; net rating of +3.2)

4. Gobert, Johnson, Mitchell, Rubio, Sefolosha - 12 minutes or 5% of minutes (79.3 offensive rating; 67.9 defensive rating; net rating of +11.4)

5. Gobert, Ingles, Johnson, Rubio, Sefolosha - 11 minutes or 5% of minutes (76.5 offensive rating; 115.6 defensive rating; net rating of -39.1)

6. Burks, Johnson, Neto, Sefolosha, Udoh - 11 minutes or 5% of minutes (70.3 offensive rating; 102.2 defensive rating; net rating of -31.9)

7. Burks, Johnson, Mitchell, Sefolosha, Udoh - 10 minutes or 4% of minutes (144.8 offensive rating; 57.9 defensive rating; net rating of +86.9)

So normal disclosure - small sample size, but there are some interesting things here:

A) Of all our most used lineups, only one (lineup #7) has a decent offensive rating - it also has our best defensive rating. It also is what I would deem a "small ball" type of unit for our team. For those wanting to #freeAlecBurks, this is the lineup you would want to point to.

B) Our other plus net rating most used lineups (lineups #3 & #4) are what I expected from the Jazz this year - poor offense but even more stifling defense.

C) All of our plus net rating most used lineups (lineups #3, #4, & #7) contain Sefolosha. We need to find a plus rated lineup that doesn't contain Sefolosha - he can't play 48 minutes a night.

D) Lineup #3 is basically our starting lineup subbing in Sefolosha for Hood.

E) Lineup #4 is an as-even-as you can get mix of subs with starters.

F) In our most used lineups, there are plus rated lineups that contain Rubio, Ingles, Gobert, Favors, Johnson, Burks, Sefolosha, Udoh, and Mitchell; and there minus rate lineups with these same individuals. So I guess you could cherry pick and make arguments that these players are bad/good for the Jazz depending on your point of view.

G) Hood and Neto aren't in any of our plus rated most used lineups. Is it possible to posit that the offensive gains by inserting either of them into the lineup doesn't out weigh the defensive losses? I guess it is possible, but is it reasonable?

H) For all the talk about Udoh's +/- he is only in one of our net positive mostly used lineups. Having said that, he does show up in 24 of the 53 lineups this year and 14 of those are net positive lineups.

A couple of other thoughts I had.

Continuity matters in basketball. Bringing in new players, getting them up to speed on a new system, and then having them gel with other players on the team takes time.

I'm going to need patience this year. With all the tinkering and knowing what we had last year, and where we are at and where we are going this year, I can't judge this year based on last year - I need to give this new group and coach Snyder time. The tinkering will decrease and the rotations will become more fixed than they are now as the year goes on.

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.