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Part 2: Analyzing lineups over a season, picking a fifth starter and building the best rotation

Picking a starting lineup, finding the best in-game rotations, and identifying when to switch things up are some of the hardest decisions a basketball coach has to make. Our lineup focused approach to basketball analytics makes this process a bit easier. As in the previous post, we encourage our readers to check out the data for themselves.


In this week's post, we're diving into the lineup data from Duke and selecting, based on the results, the best 5-player lineups for the team as well as identifying a handful of best case scenario substitution strategies. The key metrics in analyzing these lineups are offensive and defensive ratings and their resulting net rating. Additionally, we take into consideration the total # of possessions played to account for small sample size problems.


The first question is whether Javin DeLaurier or Marques Bolden is a better fit to join Cam Reddish, Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Tre Jones in the starting lineup. We can start with a basic comparison of how those two five-player combinations performed throughout the season. Using the Lineup Analysis tool, we can filter using total playing time or plus minus, and easily drill down to visualize the two lineups of interest.