Before the start of this season, something that many people wondered regarding the Utah Jazz was how Quin Snyder was going to utilize his personnel. Who was he going to start? Who’s coming off the bench? Who’s closing the games? Now 14 games into the 2019-2020 NBA season, we finally have some solid data to work with when looking at the different lineups Quin Snyder has thrown on the court. We’ll sort it into three different tiers: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here’s how things shake out right now:
The Jazz starting lineup this season has been fantastic. The starting five of Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale, and Rudy Gobert is the third-best five-man lineup in the NBA so far this season (>100 mins played). Only the Rockets and Bucks starting lineups have better net ratings than this of the Utah Jazz. This lineup sports an offensive rating of 110.7 and a defensive rating of 93 which gives them a net rating of 17.7. With all of their best scoring threats on the court at the same time, the Jazz can spread the floor and have been able to take advantage of teams on both sides of the ball. This lineup has played a total of 180 minutes together this season, which is third-most in the league.
The Jazz’s five-man closing unit is also pretty stout. Replace Royce O’Neale with Joe Ingles, and you’ve got the Jazz’s second most popular five-man lineup. This lineup has a higher offensive rating than the starting unit (113.1) but also sacrifices a bit of defensive with a higher drtg (102.7). This unit also shoots the ball a bit better 57 percent eFG, compared to 54.5 that the starters do. It’s a strong unit to close with, and the Jazz have performed relatively well in the closing moments of games, especially tight ones.
But, interestingly enough, neither of the two above-mentioned lineups are actually the best lineups on paper (with at least 30 minutes played). The lineup of Mudiay-Mitchell-Ingles-Green-Davis has played 31 minutes together in 3 games, and sports a net rating of 48.2. Obviously, 31 minutes is not 180 minutes, and it’s not sustainable on a larger scale. But it’s interesting nonetheless. The lineup of Conley-Bogdanovic-Ingles-O’Neale-Gobert who has played more minutes at 52, sports a net rating of 19.3. Both of these lineups have better advanced ratings than the two most popular lineups that the Jazz have used.
The Jazz’s fourth-most popular lineup of Conley-Green-Bogdanovic-O’Neale-Gobert has not been great for the minutes they’ve played together. This lineup has appeared in 9 games so far for a total of 34 minutes. In these 34 minutes played, they have been outscored by a total of 23 points, or 34 points per 100 possessions. They shoot 36% FG from the floor with this lineup in, and 23% from three which is one of the lowest of any five-man lineups the Jazz have put out there.
Another lineup that hasn’t worked out so far this season is taking Mike Conley out from the starting group. The lineup of Mitchell-Ingles-Bogdanovic-O’Neale-Gobert has a negative 41.7 net rating in 11 minutes played in 4 games this season. You’d think this lineup would been pretty good at shooting the basketball, right? Wrong. With these five on the floor, the Jazz have shot 3 of 17, including 2 of 9 from three.
You might want to sit down for this one. Maybe grab a drink or some comfort food. Make sure you’re in a good place mentally before you read these next few paragraphs. Before we get into it, please remember to take these numbers in context. Most of these lineups have not seen the court for an extended amount of time. Because of this, one bad stretch or run in a game can drastically impact these numbers and ratings. So, with this in mind, let’s look at the worst lineups the Jazz have put out there.
The very worst five-man lineup the Jazz have played is Mitchell-Muiday-Ingles-Niang-Green. In just four minutes (appearing in two different games), this lineup has an offensive rating of *double-checks notes*... 16.7?? Put that together with their defensive rating of 150, and that nets a whopping -133.33 net rating. Woof. In these six minutes, this lineup has not converted a single field goal (0-6) and have made just one point on a free-throw. They were outscored by 11 points total.
Another bad lineup the Jazz have thrown out there is the one that nearly cost them the game last night against the Timberwolves. This lineup of Mitchell-Mudiay-Exum-Ingles-Gobert shot 2-10 in a six minute stretch last night and was outscored by 14 points. It was pretty hard to watch. So far in two different occurrences, Quin Snyder has played Mitchell, Exum, and Mudiay together and it has not worked out well.
In conclusion looking at all of the Jazz lineups, Quin Snyder has some work to do. He’s got some really solid lineups going for him, but a lot of secondary units that need to figure some things out. We all knew it would take some time team with its new personnel to mesh completely. The starting and closing lineups have started getting into their groove, and that’s probably the most critical. It will be interesting to see how these numbers change over the course of the season, and what changes Quin Snyder makes to the lineups that haven’t worked out so hot thus far in the season.
All stats referenced from NBA.com’s lineups tool that can be found here: