The Two Point Guard System – By the Numbers

In February of 2003 the Milwaukee Bucks acquired Gary Payton from the Seattle Supersonics in exchange for Ray Allen at the trade deadline.  That trade has sent a ripple effect through time that has ultimately caused much consternation amongst Nuggets fans.  It reunited Payton with his former coach in Seattle George Karl.  The thing is, the Bucks just so happened to have another high quality point guard on the roster in Sam Cassell.

Although Cassell and Payton had entered their mid-30s, they were still very effective players, both posting a PER above 20 and the two were the Bucks leading scorers once Allen was no longer on the team.

Karl was faced with a conundrum.  What do you do when you have two really good point guards on the roster?  The answer was simple, you play them both.

Fast forward to 2013 and George Karl continues to deploy the two point guard system.  Neither Ty Lawson nor Andre Miller are quite as good as Cassell or Payton were in 2003. Even so, Karl does not care about positions when it comes to closing out games.  He loves having two ball handlers and decision makers on the court together, especially when they are (arguably) two of the top five players on the team.

Nuggets fans hate it.  It is not so much that anyone believes Andre Miller is a bad player, or that Miller and Lawson cannot play together from time to time, it is the fact that Karl has decided that the only two players guaranteed to be on the floor in crunch time are Miller and Lawson.

How bad is it though?  I am here to try to lend some balance to the discussion with some cold hard facts known as statistics.  Is it truly suicide to continually play Miller and Lawson together at the end of games, or does Karl maybe, just maybe, know what he is doing?

Tanks to the incredibly comprehensive NBA Media Stats page we, well I, can get detailed breakdowns of different player combinations.  When looking at that data, Nugget fans may not like what it shows.

Out of the 41 five man units the Nuggets have trotted out onto the floor that have played at least 12 minutes together, 22 of them have a positive plus/minus.  Of those 22 five man units, nine of them include both Miller and Lawson.  If we narrow it down further to groups who have played at least 24 minutes together there are 13 five man combinations with a positive plus/minus and Miller and Lawson are paired up on five of those 13 combinations.  In fact the most frequently used five man unit with both Miller and Lawson includes Andre Igoudala, Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried.  This group is one of the primary closing lineups that Karl utilizes.  They have played a total of 76 minutes together and have a per 48 minute plus/minus of 8.2.  That is a significant margin.  That five-some actually out produces the starting five who has compiled a plus/minus per 48 minutes of 6.9.

If we break it down further and look at three man groups.  There are 72 three man units the Nuggets have used for at least 48 minutes during the course of the season.  Out of those 72, six of them include both Miller and Lawson.  Out of those six, three of them have fantastic plus/minus statistics.  Pairing the two point guards with Igoudala results in a per 48 minute plus/minus of 15.1.  Insert Koufos for Igoudala and that triumvirate has a per 48 minute plus/minus of 12.1.  If Gallo is on the court with Miller and Lawson the Nuggets have combined to outscore opponents by a margin of 9.5 per 48 minutes.  There is also a fourth grouping that produces very solid results and that is when Manimal plays with Miller and Lawson Denver holds a 4.4 point per 48 minute advantage.  How significant is the three man unit data?  Combine all the players listed above, Miller, Lawson, Gallo, Igoudala and Faried and those are the players most frequently in the game and comprise the five man unit mentioned above.

(The interesting thing when looking at three man units who have played together at least 48 minutes over the course of the season, out of the top 16 combinations ranked by plus/minus, Miller is in ten of them.  You do not see Ty Lawson show up without Miller in the group as well until threesome number 17. The other name that is liberally dispersed amongst the top 15 three man units is Kosta Koufos who is in 12 of the 15.)

The NBA Media Stats page gives us even more detail down two man pairs.  This would seem to be the true test of how well Miller and Lawson rate out together.  The Miller/Lawson duo rates as the seventeenth most effective duo on the Nuggets’ roster compiling a plus/minus per 48 minutes of 3.4.  That may not sound like much, but consider there are 53 two man duos who have played at least 48 minutes together and Miller and Lawson were in the top third.  The Nuggets as a whole outscore their opponents by 2.3 points per 48 minutes and the pair of point guards outperform that number easily.

The thing to keep in mind with the plus/minus of Miller and Lawson, is it includes time on the court with other players such as Corey Brewer and JaVale McGee who posted miserable plus/minus numbers with Miler and Lawson.  Brewer and McGee are rarely on the floor to close out games and thus their data does not reflect how effective Miller and Lawson are with the other players they generally are on the floor with in crunch time.  I believe the three and five man unit data shows how effective the duo are with their teammates they share the court with in tight contests.

Honestly, I do not always enjoy the two point guard system and I agree with many other Nuggets fans who take issue with the fact that Andre Miller is the only Nugget player who is above getting benched.  However, to flat out dismiss the effectiveness of having two point guards on the court together to close out games is overly simplistic.  I think there is good evidence that the Nuggets should close out games with a combination of Lawson, Miller, Igoudala, Gallinari, Faried and Koufos.  It is also encouraging that Karl showed a greater willingness to go offense/defense in the closing minutes of the win over Oklahoma City.  I loved how engaged Karl was in that contest and I hope he continues to coach that way.

Getting back to the point, the Nuggets have even more data than I have access to and you better believe if there was any semblance of proof that Miller and Lawson were detrimental to the team when they are on the floor together, that would be the demise of the two point guard system.

The fact is it is effective.

Click here to see a Google Doc of the data used to compile this article

  • googergieger

    I think the biggest issue is the fact that Karl always goes with it. I mean ignoring that stats don’t tell the whole story. Once again last year Bonner was among the leaders in plus/minus and the most important Spurs player when looking at that. But yes, against Memphis? Why go with Faried at center and Gallo at the four? Against teams that have strong perimeter players? Why go with Miller and Lawson? I mean OKC game was more good than bad in that we saw him going defense/offense, but also he went with Brewer instead of Iguodala, which shows he might be willing to go with the most effective player on that night. Which would be great for the team. It is a deep team that can have anyone be on fire on any given night on both sides of the court. So why not go with the hot hand(s)?

    Also, “He loves having two ball handlers and decision makers on the court together, especially when they are (arguably) two of the top five players on the team.”

    Gallo and Iguodala aren’t ball handlers(ha!) and decision makers?

  • ryanvdonk

    the willingness to go offense/defense? you mean when he never took the miller our? miller gives up at least 5 wide open 3s a game because he cheats into the middle and gives lackluster effort to get back out to his man. and man on man he’s just too slow to match up against the better point guards, while ty has actually shown improvement in that area this year, as there is no reason beyond horrible refs that he can’t stay in front of ANY player in this league.

    • Thomas

      Fair enough, if you like to win 50 games and continue to be a non-factor in the playoffs and in NBA history in general, then you might as well play this 2 PG line-up and soak up all the glory of regular season statistics. As a fan, you have the right to be satisfied with mediocrity and to claim that you can beat 70% of all teams.

      It’s fair to say that a significant share of Nuggets fans don’t share those views and such a low bar of expectations. We know what we get with this product. Personally, I don’t enjoy it and quite honestly it’s not much fun to look at or cheer for. I like teams that play hard defense and that aim for a title. I like coaches that are willing to make changes and take risks that carry a high reward potential. I like teams that give young guys a fair shot at becoming starters in the future and don’t severely crimp their careers by not giving them opportunities.

      Attendance at our home games pretty much tells you the story: more empty seats, quiet crowds, almost no passion. That’s no coincidence.

      I just don’t like were this is going – quite frankly, it’s not going anywhere it hasn’t been before. That’s a real turn-off, at least for me. I want to see a team develop and gel together and see what they can do in 2-3 years. This requires a new coach, a new mentality. If it doesn’t work, fine with me, as long as we are giving it a shot and not being content with mediocrity.

      If management wants to continue this path, they will lose the fan interest of many of us. If that’s the path they choose, I suggest they trade away JHam, Ty and even Faried so that those guys can show what they are capable elsewhere. I think it is a disservice to a guy like Faried, who can and will become a monster of a player if allowed to play 38 minutes a game regularly.

      • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

        Thomas, I have been very vocal that every move this team makes should be with the goal of winning a championship. I hate the first round exits with no sign of progress year after year. I went as far as saying the team should be blown up because I do not see a way this group can become a championship team. In my mind that ship has sailed. Would Denver be better off in the future if they were giving players like Hamilton, Fournier and Stone getting more minutes now? Probably, but would that make them more of a championship contender? That is difficult to say.

        • Bryan

          We’d have a better idea of what they’re ceilings are. And if they were good but not great they could increase there value as trade bait down the road.

      • Barry

        Well said Thomas, well said…

    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

      Hey ryanvdonk, I have been very disappointed in Ty’s tendency to over help as well resulting in open perimeter looks. It is not just an issue with Miller. I really do not think there is a significant gap between Miller and Lawson when it comes to team defense.

      • ryanvdonk

        true, ty has gotten worse with it, but at least he’ll run out at a shooter, pretty disheartening as a fan to watch miller being paid millions but wont even run, instead just takes a step in their direction then watches the shot. the difference is that if the coach demanded it (which he obviously doesn’t, as you see ever perimeter player on the team do it from time to time) ty would adjust.

        the interesting thing, is that if miller gets traded, stone IS a big point guard like GP, so the defensive trade off would be minimal from that standpoint…

      • ryanvdonk

        and by that i mean trade off of going small vs a standard lineup. there’d still be issues with rebounding and protecting the paint.

  • http://yahoo mile high

    Good article. Objective analysis. The only point that I disagree is that Nuggets fans hate the 2 point guard system.

    Yes, there are a number of vocal fans who hate the 2 point guard system. In fact, they hate Karl and anything that he does. However, to the majority of fans, they only want the Nuggets to win and if the 2 point guard system can help us win, why not?

  • Woobly o Balls

    I think we lost the Iggy trade.

    - We miss Big Al’s scoring and 3 point shooting
    - Afflalo isn’t that big a step down from the Iggy we’ve seen in Denver and is younger
    - Afflalo is much much cheaper to keep and gets better every year
    - Afflalo has a little dog in him. He wants to take that last shot
    - Whilst iggys defense is better afflalo is not that far behind. Wade called him his toughest defender
    - We gave up a 2014 1st rounder in a strong draft. We could have used both picks that year to move into the lottery

    • magster

      … and AAA doesn’t stink at the free throw line. Iggy can create more off the drive, and I do think his defense is better.

      And, we’d be missing Harrington’s shot all season regardless because, last I checked, he hasn’t played due to injury yet this season.

      And Jeremy, great analysis! If all RMC writers could post more analysis in between recaps, the world would be a better place.

      • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

        Thanks magster, we have added a couple of new writers recently so we can post more than just rapid reactions. The reactions are fun and good, but we definitely want to provide more than that.

        • magster

          Awesome!

    • rxmart2

      Afflalo’s defense is FAR, FAR, FAR behind Iggy’s. From regularized +- perspective his defense affects the Nuggets by almost 4 points a game. That is HUGE and is more than 5 points a game better than Afflalo’s production over the past two seasons.

      Iggy>>>>>>AAA

    • https://twitter.com/PrincePickaxe Kalen

      Agreed wholeheartedly. I’ve been saying this for a while now. Wasn’t a fan of the trade when it went down, still not a fan now.

  • airvaid

    George Karl haters will lose their minds. Take this article down, this is propaganda. Not giving them a reason to hate and complain.

    It’s amazing that fans will blame Karl for anything. “We won against OKC, but my dog pooped the carpet, FIRE KARL!!”

  • GK4Prez

    I have seen this topic debated a few times on Nuggets boards over the years, and while it usually proves to be an effective lineup, it is tough to compare it to any other 4th quarter lineup because the 2 pg lineup is almost always the one that is in use.

    The chart that was used to compose this article also suggests that the most effective lineup that the Nuggets have used in terms of +/- is when both centers are on the floor together (Koufos and Mcgee) along with Brew, Miller, and Iguoldala, but it has only been used in 9 games for a total of 25 minutes. For the little amount of time that this 5 man unit has been used it has an incredible +/- of +46.1, which I find hard to believe and it makes me wonder if I am interpreting the chart correctly. If I am, then why isn’t this 5 man unit used more often? Maybe it is because this lineup is the worst lineup from behind the arc. Strange that Lawsome hasn’t played with both centers at the same time. It seems like Lawsome would help improve the 3%.

    This leads me to the best unit for shooting the 3. Lawsome isn’t in either of the two best lineups, Miller is the pg with these 5 man units.

    Rebounding with the 2 pg lineup and using Faried instead of Koufos at the center spot isn’t a better rebounding 5 man unit, which makes sense because asking Faried to grab boards against a man with much more size than him is a tall task (no pun intended), he is already at a size disadvantage at pf and he holds his own, but asking him to grab boards against a pf and a center at the same time is asking a bit much imo, and he has been asked to do this several times late in games. Gallo and Iguodala rebound well for their positions, but neither guy wants to go head to head with a much larger man in the paint. Plus, they are looking for outlet passes, defending the perimeter and trying to get out and run. This lineup gets stops, but it also gives up a lot of 2nd chance opportunities by giving up offensive rebounds to the other team.

    Sorry for getting off track, I will stop now…lol, and thanks for providing the stat sheet Jeremy, I found it interesting to look over. It would be neat to see the 3 man units, I wasn’t a member, so I couldn’t check it out. I signed up for it, but have to wait 24-48 hours to check it out.

    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

      Hey GK4Prez, the lineup you referenced with Koufos and McGee is the reason why I tried to remove lineups that did not have many minutes together. The plus/minus on those spreadsheets is prorated for 48 minutes. That way we can more easily compare a lineup that has played 25 minutes to one that has played 250.

      I think it is fair to say that if that five man unit with Koufos and McGee received more time together, they would see their plus/minus reduced pretty quickly although it is interesting that they have had success together.

      • GK4Prez

        That makes more sense, but surprisingly it is still an effective 5 man unit.

    • magster

      Karl has been going to twin towers more lately. I think Karl likes Koufos’ rebounding discipline to back up McGee trying to block everything on defense. I bet we see more of it.

  • GIANLUCA

    For me the Best Nuggets 5 for finish the game …
    for pass the 1°round playoff are :
    MILLER-IGOUDALA-GALLO-FARIED-KOUFOS alwais !!!

  • GIANLUCA

    The best Nuggets team ( not in the final of the game ) :
    MILLER-BREWER-GALLO-FARIED-MCGEE

  • steve

    fantastic write up on this. i was also one of many i’m sure consistantly yelling at my tv screen at the end of games when i saw these 2 on the court together. We are all human and we tend to only realize who is really out there when things go wrong lol. nugs are several games over .500 and i’m sure they consistantly run the 2 pg lineup in just about every game so that tells me it has to be effective.

    btw, this team is missing a pure 3 pt shooter!!! REDICKKKKKKKK PLEASE! Mozgov Hamilton and a 1st rd pick for him. DO IT!!! :D

  • GIANLUCA

    Nuggets are best in Rmb …
    but Karl don’t love it in the final of the game …
    Koufos or McGee + Fareid + Gallo are the best ‘mini-team’ of Denver …

    the problem are :
    Lawson , Miller , Iggy , W.Chandler
    TRADE 2 of this for BLEDSOE ,BELINELLI and N.ROBINSON

    next year new contract to Faried

    VAN GUNDY HEAD-COACH
    NUGGETS NBA CHAMPION

  • Frontrange

    “I think there is good evidence that the Nuggets should close out games with a combination of Lawson, Miller, Igoudala, Gallinari, Faried and Koufos.”

    Pretty sure we could undefeated if we could close with that combo . . .:)

    • Jeff

      Key word: combination.

  • Tom

    The thing about the 2 pg lineup is it’s a hot-or-cold lineup.

    About 2/3 of the time, it absolutely destroys the other team at the close of the game. But 1/3 of the time, it chokes away a big lead. George Karl doesn’t seem to be able to identify when the lineup isn’t working and adjust.

  • Legalize Denver Nuggets

    I wouldn’t have expected those numbers. Interesting! I guess GK is trying to put confidence in a particular line-up and commit to playing a certain way in crunch time, although I wish he’d be more adaptive to different teams! It’s really hard to say- managing player psychology is something I’ll leave to the coaches (although it’s fun to speculate/ argue over). Hell- Andre Miller may only be playing as well as he is now (I’d say he’s more committed this season than last) because Karl puts that confidence in him. And as we all know, if this were to be a moderately ‘successful’ team (2nd round of playoffs or further), we would need everyone playing near their potential. That being said, I would love to see Karl giving more significant stints to other players so the fans can know they are getting their fair shot and are ready if they get called upon when the play-offs role around!

  • https://twitter.com/PrincePickaxe Kalen

    My issue has never been with the two point-guard lineup. Coaches across the league favor two-point guard lineup in all sorts of situations. My issue is with when and where Karl uses it and above all else, his unwillingness to waiver from it even when it’s entirely clear his opponent is benefiting from it.

    The other thing I’d note is that there are other combinations of wing players that are just as, if not more, successful as the Lawson-Miller combo. The Brewer-Iguodala combo is in six of the top 10 most productive (in terms of +/-) five-man unites on the roster, while the Gallinari-Iguodala combo is in seven. If you wanted you could just as easily make the case that either of those two should be closing out games at the two and three positions rather than having Miller in at the two.

    Also, for all the crap people give McGee about his +/-, I find it interesting that he’s in three of the Nuggets top five most productive units.

    Great read Jeremy.

  • Trevor

    The Nuggets are not a contender plain and simple. We should be playing our young talent and letting them develop. Ty, Gallo, Faried, KK, McGee, Ham, and Evan need playing time and the opportunity to grow their games. Even at the expense of winning in the short term. Bring in a fresh coach to grow with the team as well. Karl has shown he has no interest in developing young players. He has a very solid formula for stacking regular season wins and making the playoffs but has shown nothing to the tune of turning the Nugs into title contenders.

    Watching the franchise middle around like this is disheartening. I’ve started to take everything with a grain of salt. I take it each game at a time: we win I’m happy, we lose oh well… I can’t change Karl or lit a fire under Lawson/Gallo’s ass. The franchise is not interested in progressing towards a title so why get my hopes up this season.

  • Trevor

    Advanced statistical breakdowns of Karl’s line up choices throughout a game, the author is making it into a regular article after every game. Something to compare to what you’ve written up Jeremy.

    Karl Watch
    http://wagesofwins.com/2013/01/20/karl-watch-january-20th-2013-vs-the-thunder/

    • Randy P

      Took a quick look at this site and it looks like he only does this for GK. Is there a reason for that?

      • dynamo.joe

        The editor/main writer there is a Nuggets fan.

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    We haven’t seen enough of the big lineups to make any of this data meaning full… We had only one game this season (where TY was out w/a leg injury) where we got a small taste of IGGY handling the ball like PIPPEN, and you know what? We looked great…. So until we actually see big lineups on the floor this data is meaning less… It’s kinda like saying a guy sucks when he never gets a sniff on the floor… You never know until you try..

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    And to make myself clear, my main problem with Miller is when he is used in the 2 pg sets… Period… Miller is old and slow, and gets blasted on defense… He plays like 5 feet off the perimeter because if he got in a guy’s grill, that player would put it on the floor and drive past him.. (he plays defense like a football player in prevent defense)…. When Miller is the only guard on the floor you can work around his defensive limitations… But when he and TY are out there at the same time… Forget about it, it is all over… And throw in Faried at center, and we have holes…. I always think we should have two bigs on the floor… Period….. How is faried going to get rebounds when he is the only big on the floor? IS GALLO good at boxing out??? How about IGGY on a bigger forward???? It is stupid, and as a person who has watched every game, I can attest to small ball being the wrong way to go… It’s not like I am nit-picking, but I see a problem and I am calling it out…. I watch for defense during the games and bad defense drives me crazy…. PROBLEM-SOLUTION When you have a problem you must try something different to fix it…. We are terrible on perimeter defense, SO we must try something different….. GO BIG or GO HOME!!!!

  • googergieger

    The problem with us going small is, it accomplishes nothing. I mean it doesn’t spread the floor which is the main reason you go small. For Karl’s whole McGee and Faried together are bad defensively, what does Faried at center and Ty/Dre accomplish defensively? If Iguodala and Gallo are enough to make up for that on defense then why not try McGee and Faried out? I mean a little too late now I guess. McGee’s confidence is shattered but at least his good spirit isn’t. He does love playing for this team and cheering on his team mates. But yeah to everyone saying Iguodala for Afflallo and Harrington is bad for us, that doesn’t even make sense if you’re drunk. We got rid of two overpaid players, one of which is all but done and the other who reached their ceiling, for a walking triple double threat who can lock down the opponent’s best perimeter player. Granted hard to do that in Denver but still. We made out like bandits in that Iguodala trade. As has been said by me and many others, this team is just underachieving. Roster wise we could use a Reddick maybe, but would have to get rid of Chandler, Miller, or Brewer. Two of the three, to open up meaningful minutes for him. Big man wise we could use someone to defend the post, but we’d have to give up two of our centers. But again, we have enough to be great. Have enough to make it out of the first round easily and at least fight to make it to the conference finals.

  • Jazz

    Payton and Cassell, Lawson and Miller, what the hell is wrong with this picture. 6′ 4″ and 6′ 3″ to 5′ 10″ and 6′ 2″. Really guys, Payton was a defensive whiz and Cassell was a cold hearted shooter. Let’s see both, Lawson and Miller can’t guard paper. Let’s not talk about their shooting. Please, nice article, But……………………….. go Nuggets

  • Michael

    Doesn’t this article identify a greater issue with this team. Sure, maybe you cannot win without a superstar in this league. My problem is we will never know! Who knows what this team looks like at full potential? Who knows what kind of scorer Gallinari really can be? Or how good Faried really is? My problem is with George Karl. First off, I do not think he gets the best out of his players on a nightly basis (lose at home to Wizards one night, and the next game beat the Thunder in overtime). Secondly, even if the two guard system works, a coach needs to be able to adapt to opposing teams and lineups, and most importantly who is playing well on a nightly basis. At least for me, it is easy to see when Andre Miller of Ty Lawson just isn’t putting 100% effort in a certain game. In these situations we need a coach who is watching the game and moving pieces around to compensate for the discrepancies in the team.

  • Mark B

    You should have pulled statistics for the games we have lost separately from the games we have won. What you will most likely find is that George Karl is not actually coaching at all. The reason the stats are the way they are is that the NBA doesn’t have any shitty basketball players. When you play the same lineups every single game and there are talented players in that lineup, there are going to be more nights where they play well enough to win than there are when they all have off nights and lose.

    The issue that nuggets fans have with Karl and his decision to play these two point guards is that he is doing it no matter what the situation or how the players are playing. Logically it makes the most sense for a coach to feel out the way his team is playing and then put the most effective players on the floor. This is especially the case when you have a ten deep roster. But Karl does not understand this anymore and just feels that he “had a good shot to win” with the five guys he likes playing every night. Well, we are losing games when Miller doesn’t defend and turns the ball over. We are losing games when Iggy shoots 20%FG and 40%FT but still achieves 38 minutes. How is it that Javale McGee gets punished for his mistakes but Iguodala gets rewarded for his? How is it that 11 million dollars a year means nothing to Karl but apparently 15 million does? George Karl is a hypocrite and a coach that is frankly not coaching! He needs to be fired. Melvin Hunt or Chad Iske could have this team at 30 wins by now.

  • dynamo.joe

    My problem with the 2pg line ups is that Miller is the primary ball handler and that makes Ty passive. Making Ty passive is the best way to blunt his effectiveness.

    Now, I think I know why Miller is the primary ball handler. It’s basically cuz he can’t shoot, but he is effective in the paint. So, if he brings the ball upcourt he gets the first dribble drive, getting him to his best spot.

    But the entire point of small ball is to load the perimeter with shooters so the defense can’t clog the lane. That breaks down when neither your penetrator nor your big can move out and threaten from the perimeter.

    Basically, if they can’t get the mismatch they want on that 1st drive, either a slow big Miller can get past or a pg follows him down low where he can post them up like the world’s tiniest point-forward that he is, then the system breaks down. The outcome then is likely to be a couple more dribble drive attempts followed by an uncontested 3pt attempt by Miller.

    Miller’s defender can always cheat, because what is Miller gonna do shoot his 20% 3pt’er while Faried gets double or triple teamed on the rebound of the all but inevitable miss?

    Playing smallball ignores the fact that 3 of our best players are bigs with no range AND minimizes Miller and Lawson’s strengths.

    If GK is going to insist on Ty and Miller being on the court at the same time I would almost rather see Andre at the 5 and surrounded by 4 shooters.

  • googergieger

    Well instead of being up double digits, Karl’s rotations and line ups evaporated our lead into a tie game. Partly because of sticking with Miller way too long. God what is the point of depth if you never fucking use it?!

  • Tom

    Good to see you writing again, Jeremy. It seems I always agree with your points. The Karl and Miller (and occasionally Koufos) bashing combined with the McGee loving has really annoyed me. Karl and Miller have their flaws, but they’re still both pretty good. I don’t know how much matchups with Miller matter when few of the other players can hit free throws or play defense.

  • Keith

    You seem to have a lot of data but the key elements are missing. What is the +/- rebounding, scoring and defense % in the last 6 minutes of games this year? You are using stats across 48 minutes but that isn’t the issue. GK puts this group on the court regardless of the opponent and regardless of the hot player the first 42 minutes. I believe my eyes are seeing a team that loses the lead, can’t rebound and ultimately end up with last possession games when they had a 5 point or more lead before GK goes with Ty, Iggy, Miller, Gallo and Faried (who must rebound against 2 defenders).