Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 4/18/12

The 2012 NBA playoffs are just around the corner and there’s no doubt that San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is refining his lineups trying to find the best way to utilize the depth he has. NBA.com has an interesting tool where you can compare all the different lineups and player combinations that a team puts on the floor.

It gives you a bit of a headache if you look at it too long, looking at all the different player arrangements and seeing what strengths each one brings to the table, but you get a lot of good info. It’s very surprising to look at the Spurs’ lineup configurations because the lineups they use the most are actually not the most effective when you look at the stats. Now granted, these numbers can be skewed a little bit because you have to take into account that some of the lesser-used lineups can have boosted stats because they go against other second units or it’s garbage time and the level of competition isn’t the same.

But for example, the most common lineup for the Spurs is Duncan, Parker, Green, Blair and Leonard. If you stretch the average stats for this group over 48 minutes, their offense is a little bit under the team average for the season. Of course, the defense and rebounding are better than the team averages, so it evens out and this lineup comes out with positive results.

One of the most effective, often-used lineups has Manu subbing in for Green. I think this is the lineup that most Spurs fans would like to see. This is the arrangement that is used most that has Tim, Tony and Manu all on the floor at the same time. All the numbers are way above team averages except for 3-point attempts. As we’ve seen over the years though, Manu loves to come off the bench, so the numbers might not be the same if this was the starting lineup.

You can look down the list of lineups and notice a few other trends. Surprisingly, a lot of combinations with Tim Duncan in them don’t do as well as ones without him. Again, that could be due to a lot of different factors, and I’m definitely not recommending that Duncan sit. The Spurs are going to need Duncan and all the other big men to step up if they want to compete for that championship.

Of course, playoff lineups are also going to have to be determined by matchups, not just stats. If the Spurs play the Lakers, they’re going to need more size. If they play the Thunder, they’ll need size and speed. A lot of times, stats don’t mean anything, and you just go with your hot hands. Lucky for the Spurs, they have a solid bench and great starters, no matter who’s out on the floor. They’re a great team, top to bottom, and are poised for a deep playoff run.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

76ers trading Ersan Ilyasova to Hawks for Tiago Splitter, pick

Budapest drops 2024 Olympic bid, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris, which could ban some participants

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

Hernandez's prison calls to Pouncey could come up in trial

Josh Hamilton experiences pain in reconstructed knee, leaves camp

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker