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Ten Games of Rotations

Today is going to be all about the first 12.1951% of the season, or the first ten games if you aren't into the mathematical arts. Kicking things off, GoSixers makes his posting debut with some interesting tidbits derived from the rotation data Derek Bodner and I collect from every game. Check it out and fire any questions you may have to him in the comments.

Ten games into the Sixers 2010/2011 season, the Sixers have a record of 2-8 which is tied for worst record in Eastern Conference (and at the start of the day when this was written, only the Clippers had a worse record in the Western Conference).  It's possible that even for the most pessimistic Sixers fan (you know, like me) the Doug Collins era is off to a rather inauspicious start.

I'm expert at neither basketball, nor statistical analysis, and I don't claim to be either.  I realize that even in an 82 game season, 10 games might still be considered a small sample size, but at the same time, 10 seems like a good place to look at some numbers.  I appreciate Brian letting me use his rotations data worksheet after each game to build my database and allowing me this chance to write something constructive.  There are a lot of firsts going on here in this article.

Let me preface all the information I present here as reiterating that I know it's a small sample size and I'm not meaning to draw any conclusions even if my poor writing style indicates such a thing.

Through 10 games the Sixer have run 86 different rotational, position-specific combinations for at least 1 minute of total game time (my arbitrary barrier).  Exactly half (43) of these combinations have a positive net differential, 41 have a negative net differential and 2 have a zero differential.

If we raise the minimum minutes to more than 5 minutes, we have 27 rotational combinations, of which 14 have a net differential more than 0, and 13 are less than zero (the two 'zero' combinations played no more than 3 minutes each)

Only five used rotations have a positive net differential in double digits:

  • Jrue Holiday is point guard of four of these rotations, Turner is point guard of one.
  • Thaddeus Young is the power forward in four of these five rotations
  • Elton Brand is also in four of these rotations (Center in three with Thaddeus Young, Power Forward in one)
  • The two best performing rotations only differ in shooting guard
    • Holiday
    • Turner one / Williams the other
    • Iguodala
    • Young
    • Brand


Conversely, four used rotations have a negative net differential in double digits:

  • All four of them have Elton Brand, one time at Center, three times at Power Forward
  • The three times Elton Brand is at Power Forward, Hawes is at Center.
  • The worst performing rotation has also been played the most minutes (a little bit more than 47), and it's the starting lineup of Holiday, Iguodala, Nocioni, Brand, and Hawes
  • The rotation that has the second most minutes (so far) slightly over 28 is also one of the worst performing rotations; Holiday, Turner, Iguodala, Brand, Hawes

Of the six most commonly used rotations Doug Collins has used so far this season, only one has a positive net differential; Holiday, Turner, Nocioni, Brand, Hawes.

So that's it, for now.  Just some examples of how the rotations are breaking out so far this year.  All rotations in this article were specific to positions played, as well.  More flexible reporting of specific combos regardless of position are possible but I'm still working out how to make them most easily accessible online.

All the information I presented here can be found one way or another at http://www.hoopstudy.com/index.html

You'll see a drop down that allows you to see the specific rotations a specific player has been in, a summary of all the different rotations that contributed to this article and a couple 'specific' combinations requested by Brian which I hope he'll use later.

There are some specific ideas/hypothesis my creation and experimenting with this database have brought to my mind that I will try to elaborate on later, if Brian is interested in having me publish again.

Additionally, if anyone here has any rotational questions they'd wish to see, don't hesitate to ask me.

by GoSixers on Nov 15 2010
Tags: Basketball | Doug Collins | GoSixers | Sixers |