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Top 5-Man Units

We list the top twenty most used units for each team on the respective team page (see for example the Kings 5-Man Units page), although recently in response to some league insider feedback, we have changed the format slightly. Instead of displaying things on a per 48 minute basis, we are now showing the raw minutes, points scored, points allowed, and plus/minus net.

An easy analysis then is to sort the units by plus/minus to see which 5-man groups have been posting the best results.

Most Productive Five-Man Floor Units (full Regular Season, sorted by +/- rating)
#
Team
Unit
Min
Off
Def
+/-
W
L
W%
1
SAC
 Bibby-Christie-Stojakovic-Miller-Divac 1067  2468  2175  +293   47 12
79 %
2
IND
 Tinsley-Miller-Artest-O'Neal-Foster 527  1103  854  +249   24 7
77 %
3
HOU
 Francis-Mobley-Jackson-Cato-Ming 970  1865  1702  +163   39 23
62 %
4
DEN
 Miller-Lenard-Anthony-Nene-Camby 976  2037  1897  +140   31 23
57 %
5
LAL
 Payton-Bryant-George-Malone-O'Neal 478  1054  918  +136   21 11
65 %
6
NJN
 Kidd-Kittles-Jefferson-Martin-Collins 1017  1955  1820  +135   31 24
56 %
7
MIN
 Cassell-Hassell-Sprewell-Garnett-Johnson 672  1365  1233  +132   25 23
52 %
8
DET
 Billups-Hamilton-Prince-Okur-Wallace 696  1312  1188  +124   33 20
62 %
9
SAS
 Parker-Bowen-Turkoglu-Duncan-Nesterovic 490  917  810  +107   29 22
56 %
10
IND
 Anderson-Miller-Artest-O'Neal-Foster 310  628  522  +106   16 7
69 %
11
MIN
 Cassell-Hassell-Sprewell-Garnett-Olowokandi 269  563  478  +85   20 6
76 %
12
SAS
 Parker-Ginobili-Bowen-Duncan-Nesterovic 581  1133  1050  +83   27 19
58 %
13
DAL
 Nash-Finley-Jamison-Walker-Nowitzki 263  609  534  +75   24 15
61 %
14
MIN
 Cassell-Hoiberg-Sprewell-Garnett-Madsen 171  381  310  +71   24 12
66 %
15
GSW
 Pietrus-Richardson-Dunleavy-Robinson-Dampier 232  448  378  +70   7 5
58 %
16
UTA
 Arroyo-Stevenson-Harpring-Kirilenko-Ostertag 302  612  543  +69   12 5
70 %
17
HOU
 Francis-Mobley-Jackson-Taylor-Ming 463  929  863  +66   31 27
53 %
18
SAC
 Bibby-Jackson-Stojakovic-Miller-Divac 105  253  188  +65   16 4
80 %
19
DET
 Billups-Hamilton-Prince-Williamson-Wallace 216  459  395  +64   23 16
58 %
20
POR
 Stoudamire-Anderson-Miles-Randolph-Ratliff 511  986  924  +62   15 14
51 %
21
GSW
 Claxton-Richardson-Cardinal-Robinson-Dampier 126  288  229  +59   7 2
77 %
22
POR
 Stoudamire-Anderson-Miles-Randolph-Wallace 131  286  227  +59   7 2
77 %
23
GSW
 Claxton-Cheaney-Dunleavy-Cardinal-Robinson 57  135  81  +54   11 1
91 %
24
MIN
 Cassell-Hassell-Sprewell-Garnett-Miller 119  259  205  +54   16 6
72 %
25
MIA
 Alston-Jones-Butler-Odom-Grant 358  714  661  +53   20 11
64 %
26
MEM
 Watson-Battier-Posey-Outlaw-Wright 72  141  89  +52   9 4
69 %
27
LAL
 Payton-Bryant-Fox-Malone-O'Neal 279  600  548  +52   9 5
64 %
28
DET
 Billups-Hunter-Prince-WallaceR-Wallace 72  147  96  +51   4 2
66 %
29
SAC
 Bibby-Christie-Stojakovic-Webber-Miller 217  462  412  +50   9 7
56 %
30
DET
 Billups-Hamilton-WallaceR-Williamson-Wallace 60  132  83  +49   8 1
88 %

Now, if you scale things to a plus/minus per 48 minutes, the rankings change quite a bit, but given that many units have only played a small time together for the most part it makes sense to use totals. Also, a unit that can play long stretches with exceptional results is truly valuable, since it means that in spite of the opposition trying to find mismatches and the "answer" to that lineup combo, they still dominate.

By that measure, it's the Sacramento Kings boasting the top cumulative plus/minus group, with the pre-Webber return starting five of Bibby-Christie-Stojakovic-Miller-Divac. Now it is hard to overlook that the #2 ranked unit almost caught them in less than half the total floor time -- we're talking of course about the mighty Pacers and their optimal five, complete with a healthy 24-7 (77%) game by game won lost.

Several of the top units are not even the "preferred starting five" in the eyes of the team head coach! The Kings have three of the top thirty most productive +/- units, but we will probably see the #29 group getting more minutes together than the #1 or #18 in the post-season.

With the Lakers, they only had all four of their "hall of famers" in the lineup together for select portions of the regular season, but with either Fox or George as the fifth wheel, they are a formidable group.

The Rockets and Nuggets round out the top five. For the Rockets it's particular interesting in that their most used lineup ran up a whopping +163 number, but their third most used lineup posted a worst in the league 5man stat of -80 in 315 minutes! What a difference a player (or a Yao Ming) can make.

The Pistons meanwhile have some formidable 5-man units with recent arrival Rasheed Wallace, but surprisingly have the #8 lineup for the season without Rasheed. Portland found a winning combo with Wallace right before he was traded, but had another good one post-trade incorporating Ratliff's skills.

The Warriors had three of the top thirty (and four of the top fifty) units. Injuries stuck several times for Golden State just when a group had come together and was clicking, sending the coaches back to the drawing board to look for the next alternative.

For the extra details on why units are working, look at the following numbers:

Top Five-Man Floor Units, Details
#
Unit
eFG
eFGA
FTA
Close
dClose
Reb
T/O
1
 Bibby-Christie-Stojakovic-Miller-Divac .568  .494  +153  36%  29%   95%  0% 
2
 Tinsley-Miller-Artest-O'Neal-Foster .522  .436  +72  30%  32%   99%  +7% 
3
 Francis-Mobley-Jackson-Cato-Ming .508  .429  -36  32%  30%   102%  -4% 
4
 Miller-Lenard-Anthony-Nene-Camby .496  .488  +61  44%  38%   103%  +2% 
5
 Payton-Bryant-George-Malone-O'Neal .531  .463  +119  47%  30%   102%  0% 
6
 Kidd-Kittles-Jefferson-Martin-Collins .478  .463  +133  40%  32%   99%  +3% 
7
 Cassell-Hassell-Sprewell-Garnett-Johnson .517  .443  -42  22%  32%   94%  +1% 
8
 Billups-Hamilton-Prince-Okur-Wallace .452  .443  +82  38%  35%   104%  +3% 
9
 Parker-Bowen-Turkoglu-Duncan-Nesterovic .496  .416  -5  36%  29%   104%  +1% 
10
 Anderson-Miller-Artest-O'Neal-Foster .494  .449  +41  33%  37%   107%  +4% 
11
 Cassell-Hassell-Sprewell-Garnett-Olowokandi .523  .430  -8  19%  30%   100%  0% 
12
 Parker-Ginobili-Bowen-Duncan-Nesterovic .491  .459  +31  37%  32%   102%  +1% 
13
 Nash-Finley-Jamison-Walker-Nowitzki .509  .478  +4  32%  34%   102%  +3% 
14
 Cassell-Hoiberg-Sprewell-Garnett-Madsen .538  .435  -22  21%  36%   104%  +5% 
15
 Pietrus-Richardson-Dunleavy-Robinson-Dampier .500  .390  +2  37%  32%   106%  -2% 
16
 Arroyo-Stevenson-Harpring-Kirilenko-Ostertag .529  .466  +20  41%  37%   108%  -1% 
17
 Francis-Mobley-Jackson-Taylor-Ming .525  .448  -36  34%  29%   98%  -5% 
18
 Bibby-Jackson-Stojakovic-Miller-Divac .534  .434  +21  35%  24%   102%  +3% 
19
 Billups-Hamilton-Prince-Williamson-Wallace .477  .446  +46  42%  35%   107%  -3% 
20
 Stoudamire-Anderson-Miles-Randolph-Ratliff .508  .472  +28  36%  36%   100%  -1% 
21
 Claxton-Richardson-Cardinal-Robinson-Dampier .550  .474  +18  41%  32%   104%  +1% 
22
 Stoudamire-Anderson-Miles-Randolph-Wallace .607  .433  -5  33%  35%   93%  +2% 
23
 Claxton-Cheaney-Dunleavy-Cardinal-Robinson .571  .414  +9  25%  21%   125%  +7% 
24
 Cassell-Hassell-Sprewell-Garnett-Miller .558  .390  +16  29%  32%   95%  -3% 
25
 Alston-Jones-Butler-Odom-Grant .502  .476  -16  37%  25%   102%  +3% 
26
 Watson-Battier-Posey-Outlaw-Wright .533  .320  +6  42%  27%   99%  +8% 
27
 Payton-Bryant-Fox-Malone-O'Neal .519  .442  +45  45%  28%   97%  0% 
28
 Billups-Hunter-Prince-WallaceR-Wallace .473  .372  +33  35%  28%   107%  +10% 
29
 Bibby-Christie-Stojakovic-Webber-Miller .504  .434  -5  36%  35%   92%  +4% 
30
 Billups-Hamilton-WallaceR-Williamson-Wallace .531  .309  +12  43%  34%   100%  +7% 

    Legend:
  • Min = the percentage of the team's total minutes the unit was on the floor.

  • +/- = the team net points for the unit.

  • W = number of games a unit outscored its opponents while on the court.

  • L = number of games a unit was outscored by its opponents while on the court.

  • Win% = the winning percentage for the unit based on Wins versus Losses.
  • eFG = the effective shooting percentage, adjusted for the value of 3-point shots.
  • eFGA = the effective shooting percentage allowed to opponents.
  • FTA = net free throw attempts per 48 minutes.
  • Close = the percentage of shots taken from close range.
  • dClose = the percentage of opponents' shots taken from close range.
  • Reb = the rebound percentage for the unit, based on off. reb% + def. reb%
  • T/O = the net turnover percentage for the unit based on opponent turnovers minus unit turnovers.


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