FanPost

Starting Joseph, best chance against OKC

I know, Cory Joseph started the Portland game, and he was guarding Lillard. But the NBA.com's advanced statistic page allows you to compare lineups, and when I studied the winning Spurs lineups against OKC's starting 5, I found a very nice surprise.

I wanted to know which Spurs guard is best to replace Parker at point against OKC. So, I kept the other Spurs starters (Green, Leonard, Duncan, Splitter), and rotated in Joseph, Mills, Neal, DeColo, and even Ginobili to see which one at point matched up best against Westbrook, Sefolosha, Durant, Ibaka, and Perkins. Guess who the data supports...Cory Joseph.

Try it! The tool is pretty cool. It predicts which lineups are the "winning" lineups based on projections using per 48-minute lineup comparisons. The winning lineup gets a little green trophy, and as you scroll through lineups, the trophy relocates to the winning lineup.

With Joseph starting, the lineup is predicted to win against OKC's starters. Check out these per 48-minute stats between Parker leading the starters against OKC starters, and Joseph doing so:

Parker: 24.2 assists, 1.80 AST/TO ratio, 107.5 off rating, 84.0 def rating Joseph: 28.5 assists, 2.37 AST/TO ratio, 105.7 off rating, 80.5 def rating

One big concern about Joseph is free throw attempts. Led by Parker, the Spurs starters shoot 17.6 free throws per 48 minutes, and led by Joseph, they are predicted to shoot only 12.0. Obviously, Parker gets his team more attempts through drives to the basket.

Finally, two big differences stand out between the 2 split games SA-OKC have played this year. In the Spurs win, their defensive rating was 90.2 and assist-to-turnover ratio was 2.08. In the Spurs loss, it was 112.4 and 1.35, respectively. Joseph may well give the starters the best chance of keeping up defensive pressure and taking care of ball. We'll see soon enough!

Go Spurs Go!

This is fan-created content on PoundingtheRock.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at Pounding the Rock.

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