Season +/- thus far

I'm always trying to find stats that show Batum off to my friends and this morning I got a little sidetracked looking at the various team lineup plus/minus stats. I realize +/- is a really fickle stat that needs heaps and loads of context -- even more so than with most stats. But it's fun. So here we go.

We'll start things off by looking at the individual player +/-. This is boring but it seems like a necessary place to begin.

Player 1
+ - +/- Min

W. Matthews
2,092 -2,044 48 1010:52

L. Aldridge
2,554 -2,511 43 1248:49

D. Lillard
2,723 -2,700 23 1335:30

J. Jeffries
426 -421 5 215:50

V. Claver
438 -437 1 219:45

S. Pavlovic
689 -702 -13 349:45

N. Smith
252 -272 -20 147:48

N. Batum
2,660 -2,686 -26 1310:53

J. Freeland
386 -421 -35 212:52

J. Hickson
2,010 -2,049 -39 1006:11

L. Babbitt
633 -686 -53 339:12

R. Price
731 -802 -71 387:22

W. Barton
502 -591 -89 282:38

M. Leonard
894 -988 -94 482:25

Oh darn. And I like both Batum and Hickson. Hopefully their +/- is just suffering by playing with lousy bench players or something. Now things will get more interesting. Let's look at the top 2-player lineups and see if we can take anything away from that.

Player 1 Player 2 Rank #
+ - +/- Min

L. Aldridge D. Lillard 1
2,093 -2,010 83 1011:25
W. Matthews D. Lillard 2
1,800 -1,723 77 856:45
J. Jeffries W. Matthews 3
251 -205 46 114:39
L. Aldridge N. Batum 4
2,136 -2,092 44 1031:31
L. Aldridge W. Matthews 5
1,666 -1,624 42 798:06
N. Batum W. Matthews 6
1,664 -1,626 38 795:29
S. Pavlovic L. Aldridge 7
447 -420 27 221:52
J. Freeland J. Hickson 8
75 -50 25 29:50
J. Jeffries L. Aldridge 9
107 -86 21 49:51
J. Freeland W. Matthews 10
202 -182 20 95:15
J. Hickson D. Lillard 11
1,823 -1,805 18 897:09
S. Pavlovic W. Matthews 12
194 -178 16 92:59
S. Pavlovic D. Lillard 13
481 -467 14 238:27
L. Aldridge L. Babbitt 14
237 -223 14 117:28
N. Batum D. Lillard 15
2,259 -2,245 14 1095:09

Let's try breaking that down a little based on each player.

  • Lillard
    • Listed 5/15 times
      1. Aldridge (1)
      2. Matthews (2)
      3. Hickson (11)
      4. Pavlovic (13)
      5. Batum (15)
  • Aldridge
    1. Lillard (1)
    2. Batum (4)
    3. Matthews (5)
    4. Pavlovic (7)
    5. Jeffries (9)
    6. Babbit (14)
    • Listed 6/15 times
  • Matthews
    1. Lillard (2)
    2. Jeffries (3)
    3. Aldridge (5)
    4. Batum (6)
    5. Freeland (10)
    6. Pavlovic (12)
    • Listed 6/15 times
  • Batum
    1. Aldridge (4)
    2. Matthews (6)
    3. Lillard (15)
    • Listed 3/15 times =(
  • Hickson
    1. Freeland (8)
    2. Lillard (11)
    • Listed 2/15 times

The highlights I think are the following:

#1 Lillard/Aldridge +83

#2 LIllard/Matthews +77

#4 Aldridge/Batum +44

#5 Aldridge/Matthews +42

#6 Matthews/Batum +38

#11 Lillard/Hickson +18

Unfortunately, I did not come away from this little exercise finding big reasons why Batum is even better than his stats have shown merely from a +/- category. I'll find something next time!

Also, it seems that most everyone says that, while Hickson has been impressive this season, perhaps he's not been quite as impressive as his 20+ PER, high shooting % and consistent double-doubles indicate. I agreed with that statement for the most part. What he does well is put up good stats. When he plays good defense, it's because of a block or a steal or a rebound. Those all show up on the stat sheet. But he doesn't seem to alter shots without the blocks as well as Aldridge. He doesn't seem to have a good grasp of angles and positioning in general, which matters in pick n' rolls a lot. Basically, the stuff that shows up on the stat sheet is where he excels and the stuff that doesn't is where he tends to be a weak player. While he's probably not truly a 20+ PER level player, I still think he's an asset as a hard working, low ego role player. I'll just have to find stats that back that up in the future as well.

What the stats do indicate is that Aldridge (followed maybe by Lillard then Matthews then Batum according strictly to the +/- above (WHICH I MUST RE-EMPHASIZE IS JUST A TOOL FOR DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS AND NOT AT ALL A REASONABLE FINAL VERDICT ON A PLAYER!) makes this roster click. He is the top partner for Lillard and Batum and is #2 for Matthews. He is #2 in the overall +/- and seems to play best with the players that matter most on the roster (probably not a coincidence that he seems to shine with players who tend to play within the offense rather than with players that tend to go rambo and wild and crazy).

Lillard is #1 for 3 different starters, but he seems to have a sharp drop off in +/- when he's not playing with those folks.

Matthews is an odd case here. He just seems to play pretty well with everyone. I don't know if it's due to the nature of his game not really being dependent on his teammates as much as the others or what. Or if it's because his strength tends to be his defense more than his offense or if he's somehow the beneficiary of just tending to play with better players. I might have to look at this +/- again at the end of the season and then for his career to see if that's really the one stat where he shines. I kind of think of him as the opposite of Hickson when it comes to stats. Where Hickson really shines on the stat sheets (and is probably overrated by stats), Matthews seems to put up fairly average stats while doing the intangible stuff well. Like his defense, for example. He doesn't get a ton of steals and he gets even fewer blocks and rebounds. But you can see it when he's on his game, he's a real pest to even great offensive players, disrupting everything they're trying to do even before a shot is released.

Anyway. This ended up being really long and I've gotta go now. I may update this sometime after the all star break and then again at the end of the season and let you guys do the analysis from it.

Also, sorry for some poor formatting. I'm still figuring this out. First FanPost and all.

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