Even 200 minute sample sizes are extremely volatile, so much so that they hold no real value as evidence of anything. You don't get any sort of normalcy until you reach much higher minute totals. This makes use of an individual 5 man unit negligible because you simply don't have enough evidence to decipher anything from them.
I am not saying it, it literally happened last year. When Marcus Smart was on the floor the Celtics offense was more efficient than it was when he was off the court.
And we're saying even though Marcus has one of the worst offensive ratings in the league the offense is somehow BETTER when he's playing? How in the world does this happen?
This also occurred during the playoffs.
Now raw on/off numbers are tricky, but they do indicate that Marcus wasn't some disaster for the C's offense as you believe.
Yeah ... um ... you really have to take these numbers with a GIGANTIC grain of salt unless you actually dive into the details.
For example, you need to consider things like, when Marcus was on the floor about half (48%) the time Kyrie was also on the floor. For Rozier, Kyrie shared the floor with him on just 22% of the time.
Sharing the floor more often with a guy who is not only an elite 60% TS high efficiency scorer but also a very high, greater than 30% USG scorer, will tend to do wonders for your offensive rating.
minutes poss ORtg DRtg Net (per 100)
Marcus w/ Irving 837 1667 117.4 104.6 +12.8
Marcus w/o Irving 936 1827 103.8 103.5 +0.3
Rozier w/ Irving 531 1049 112.4 109.5 +2.9
Rozier w/o Irving 1900 3689 108.4 105.7 +2.7
It's important to really look at the details of who is sharing the floor with a player when looking at ORtg and DRtg and on/off number.
I think it's important to look at actual 5-man data to see what it tells you. The difficulty there is getting samples of sufficient size.
Marcus' most commonly used 5-man unit was with Kyrie, the two J's and Al.
Rozier's most common 5-man unit was with the two J's, Al and Aron. Here is how they performed:
Unit minutes possessions ORtg DRtg Net (per 100)
Kyrie+Smart+Jaylen+Jayson+Horford 140 281 116.2 112.7 +3.5
Rozier+Jaylen+Jayson+Horford+Baynes 163 306 111.0 100.3 +10.7
Unfortunately, the 'swap' units of Smart with the two J's, Al & Aron (just 45 minutes) and Rozier with Kyrie, the two J's and Al (just 49 minutes) are both too small to be useful as comparisons.
The Offense was better when irving was paired with Smart rather than Rozier. The defense was also dramatically better when Irving was paired with Smart.
But was the offense better because Irving was paid with Smart? Or was it because of who else was on the floor?
Outside of Kyrie, it's pretty clear that the best offensive players (when you consider both volume and efficiency) on last year's squad were Horford, Jayson, Jaylen, Morris and to a lesser extent, Rozier.
When Kyrie and Smart were on the floor, the other three guys were exclusively from that group 38% of the time (most of that was, in fact from the first three names mentioned).
When Kyrie and Rozier were on the floor, the other three guys were exclusively from that group just 19% of the time. A much larger percentage of the time was shared with guys like Smart, Baynes, Semi, Theis,Nader, etc.
And certainly, the defense of the KI+MS twosome was better -- for largely the same reason. Having Al Horford, Jaylen Brown on the floor for most of that is a fearsome defensive thing. The Kyrie+Smart+Jaylen+Horford foursome gave up just 104.1 points per 100. But I mean, the Kyrie+Rozier+Jaylen+Horford 4-man unit gave up just 103.1 points per 100 itself. It's just a small sample, though and only a small portion of Rozier's time on the floor.
Irving is going to be on the floor a lot and it shouldn't even be a question as to who you would rather have on the floor with him.
This I agree with. The guys who you should most
want to see on the floor next to Kyrie at the 2 spot are Jaylen or Gordon. Not Smart or Rozier. Because both Jaylen and Gordon are way, way, way more talented wings than either Smart or Rozier.
In our current depth chart, those two guys have to be considered ahead of either Smart or Rozier at the 2. Smart and Rozier have to be considered fighting for the 3rd string role at the 2. And frankly, given his size advantage on defense, it's easy to give Smart the nod there.
The real question is, who do you consider the backup at the 1? Rozier proved to be pretty good at the 1 this last Spring.
I don't claim to speak for Brad, but my depth chart would look something like this:
1: Irving, Rozier, Smart, Wanamaker
2: Brown/Hayward, Smart, Rozier, Nader, Wanamaker
3: Hayward/Tatum, Brown, Morris, Semi, Nader
4: Tatum/Horford, Theis, Morris, Yabusele, Semi
5: Horford/Baynes, Theis, Yabusele, Williams
The name1/name2 first entries indicate that either guy could be the starter at that spot depending on whether we are starting small or starting big.