FanDuel - WFBC

November 29, 2007

Who Starts?: Kurt of Forum Blue and Gold wonders whether its best to start your 5 "best players" or your "most complimentary" 5?

posted by lilnemo to basketball at 06:51 PM - 8 comments

Another great post. I'll put myself in the best complimentary players, but only by a nose: 1. This is only an issue on good teams. Bad teams should play their best 5 until they become a good team. If they don't become a good team with their best 5 together, it's a moot point. In this case, I don't think Andrew Bynum as starter or sixth man means a significant amount of wins. 2. It's not a hard and fast rule. Currently watching the Celtics/ Knicks; the Celtics have played their "best 5" all year and will probably continue to do so throughout. They could swap out Pierce and Posey or . . . someone and Ray Allen to make the second team a little bit stronger, but it doesn't look like the right thing for this team. Of course, the Celts' second team has been a huge surprise so far, so that second team looks like the best possible set of complimentary players, which serves to define the first team in reverse.

posted by yerfatma at 07:57 PM on November 29

five well endowed cheerleaders.

posted by Marko2020 at 07:58 PM on November 30

I'll match yerfatma point for point: 1. I disagree with the notion that bad teams should play their "best 5". Look at the Knicks, they play their "best 5", or at least their best paid 5 and it hasn't worked out too well. I would advocate starting your best 5 for inexperienced teams like the Timberwolves and Sonics, where player development is paramount and wins are likely to be few and far in between. As far as Andrew Bynum is concerned? Well, its unclear if his increase in playing time will directly translate into wins, but it has certainly yielded increased production from the pivot. Through 16 games he's averaging a double double and a block per game while shooting 58% from the field and 68% from the line. Kwame Brown, through 7 games is averaging 4ppg, 5rpg shooting 51% fg 20% ft. Small sample size and all that, but from observation, I can tell you that while Bynum hasn't the defensive positioning knowledge of Brown, I can tell you with certainty that he far outclasses Kwame on the offensive end. Things that the numbers don't reflect: both players average about 1 to/g but Bynum has "better hands", doesn't dribble needlessly, and doesn't bring the ball down below his waist. Brown on the other hand seems to fumble away 3-4 entry passes a game, I can't believe he only averages 1 to/g. 2. I agree that their are no hard and fast rules. But I would argue that for the Celtics, having Kevin Garnett in your 5 renders any best 5/complimentary 5 issues moot. Whenever you have a player that good be that unselfish, most starting 5s with him in it will be your best & most complimentary 5.

posted by lilnemo at 01:00 PM on December 01

What does "best 5" mean? Is it your best 5 scorers, your best 5 rebounders, or what? I think you will find that any team's best 5 will be that team's most complementary 5. You also will need a few subs. I don't think anyone's best 5 will play 48 minutes per game. If you are trying to develop younger players in the midst of veterans, play them off the bench and give them plenty of minutes. If you are trying to entertain fans, and incidentally keep season ticket sales at a high level, play your veterans. In any case, if your "best 5" happen to be 3 small forwards and 2 power forwards, you aren't going to do too well having them on the court together.

posted by Howard_T at 01:55 PM on December 01

What does "best 5" mean? Best 5 overall basketball players. I think you will find that any team's best 5 will be that team's most complementary 5. Not necessarily, there are certain players (or certain types of players) who's skills detract from other players effectiveness. Be it through duplication of skill sets, usage, or effectiveness. You also will need a few subs. I don't think anyone's best 5 will play 48 minutes per game. That's a given. But starters (barring foul trouble) generally play the bulk of the minutes available to their position, and thus have a greater effect on the final outcome. If you are trying to entertain fans, and incidentally keep season ticket sales at a high level, play your veterans. You aren't advocating starting Szczerbiak over Durant, Foyle over Howard, or Newble over LeBron are you? I don't think that would help the bottom line too much. :p In any case, if your "best 5" happen to be 3 small forwards and 2 power forwards, you aren't going to do too well having them on the court together. The 1973 Knicks made out okay with a starting 5 of 2 combo guards, a SF and 2 power forwards. And didn't you just advocate the best 5 as being the most complimentary?

posted by lilnemo at 03:26 PM on December 01

lilnemo, I meant to say your statiscally best 5. The important thing about the '73 Knicks is that 2 of their best 5 were combo guards, and 2 more were power forwards. Thus, the combination could cover all positions on the court without a severe mismatch. You are right about the choice of Durant, Howard, and LeBron, but I don't feel that these are young players in need of development. They are young players in search of a better league. I think you might say "best 5 overall basketball players at their possible position(s)" rather than "best 5 overall basketball players". I still maintain that you could well end up with the 5th man on your starting 5 being not as good a basketball player as 1 or 2 of your bench players, but he has to be in there because of his position. We're really starting to argue semantics here, but the question still remains, "What do you mean by 'best 5'?"

posted by Howard_T at 03:37 PM on December 01

We're really starting to argue semantics here, but the question still remains, "What do you mean by 'best 5'?" I'm sorry I can't be clearer than what I commented above, but I will repeat. Best 5 as I interpret it from the article (which phrases it as best 5 atheletes) is best 5 overall basketball players, as in those players with the highest, and most numerous skill sets. Not necessarily read as atheletes in the context of pure physical prowess (for example speed, strength, stamina, etc.). Take a look at Tom Ziller's opinion in the link. His argument for starting Finley over Ginobli addresses your question rather nicely and speaks to my opinion that coaches should start a complimentary 5.

posted by lilnemo at 03:50 PM on December 01

Take a look at Tom Ziller's opinion in the link. His argument for starting Finley over Ginobli addresses your question rather nicely and speaks to my opinion that coaches should start a complimentary 5. Which is sort of what I said in my original comment, but evidently didn't express clearly. I think that Ziller's opinion says what I couldn't. Even though one player is clearly more skilled than another (Ginobli vs Finley), the lesser skilled player is more complementary to the other 4. Thus, you are not starting your best 5 statistically or athletically, but you are starting your best 5 competitively. This is not to argue, but rather than to say I think you are correct in your assessment, but the term "best 5" can be interpreted in many ways. I'll buy the next round of drinks and we can change the subject.

posted by Howard_T at 12:14 PM on December 02

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.