Lance Stephenson Has Been in All of Indiana's Best Lineups


On Friday, I wrote an article breaking down the best lineups in the NBA. In addition to breaking down the traditional five-man units that appear on the court, I looked at the four-, three- and two-man pairings that have led to the most success so far this season.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Pacers had many elite groupings. Then again, this really shouldn’t surprise.

For one, the lists mainly feature lineups from the better teams in the league, and the Pacers have the league’s eight-best record. Secondly, the two starting lineups that Indiana used last season were both elite in terms of the best five-man units. In fact, once George Hill started running the point, it was the best-performing five-man unit in the entire NBA (among lineups that played at least 200 minutes).

But, after running all the numbers, one thing definitely stood out: Lance Stephenson’s name appeared very prominently among the team’s best lineups.

Earlier this year, I broke down how important Lance had been to the team’s good play.

But given that he was considered — by far — the starting unit’s weak link before the year, it is rather impressive just how well all these other Pacers have performed when playing alongside Stephenson.

The team’s three best-performing four-man units this year (in terms of +/-):

  • Hill / Stephenson / George / Hibbert
  • Hill / Stephenson / George / West
  • Hill / Stephenson / West / Hibbert

The team’s six best-performing three-man units this year:

  • Hill / Stephenson / George
  • Hill / Stephenson / Hibbert
  • Hill / Stephenson / West
  • Stephenson / George / West
  • Stephenson / George / Hibbert
  • Stephenson / West / Hibbert

The team’s three best-performing two-man units this year:

  • Hill / Stephenson
  • Stephenson / George
  • Stephenson / Hibbert

That’s a whole lotta Lance Stephenson.

Here are the charts. You can read more of my thoughts on what this might mean for the Pacers, as  well as some ideas about what the lineup data might say about other teams, in the full article.





Tags: Player Combinations

  • Jack Wright


  • Will

    Impressive. But I think it proves what we already know – We need a more efficient bench, in terms of offensive production.

    • Will

      Also, is Stephenson a complimentary player thriving in that role in the starting lineup? What I mean is, does his production (i.e. scoring efficiency) keep up when he is ultimately moved to the second unit?

  • Joe Betz

    Great post. I’m excited for Lance’s move to the bench. His aggressiveness is a real asset, and that has to be checked a lot when he is playing with the first unit. Having Lance attack the basket is much better than DJA attacking the basket. Also, it provides another shooter and ball-handler. All good news.

    On another line of thought, I sincerely hope Granger is not dealt and can finish his career as a Pacer. Hopefully, PG can be resigned to a nice, back-loaded deal that allows a new contract with Granger moving forward…

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