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NBA Fantasy Trends

NBA Lineup Flexibility 2

by Mike Gallagher
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Here goes part two! In case you missed the first edition and why it seemed interesting to me to look into this, bang it here. Also, a big hat tip to NBAWowy.com for a lot of these stats mixed in here. 

 

If you're into stats, lineup combos, videos and other NBA stuff, follow me on Twitter @MikeSGallagher.

 

Clippers

 

Position Flexibility Rating: 8

 

Blake Griffin - He played next to Marreese Speights, Brandon Bass and of course DeAndre Jordan. Blake also saw some run as a five with Paul Pierce as a stretch four. Plus, coach Doc Rivers wants to stagger him from Chris Paul.

 

Austin Rivers - Yes, his dad said he would play his son at the three, and indeed he did. Rivers also played some point and of course he played SG.

 

J.J. Redick - Almost all of his minutes were at shooting guard, but he did play some small forward. 

 

Jamal Crawford - He was always on the court with another point guard, but everyone knows it’s Crawfourth in the last 12 minutes.

 

Raymond Felton - Now that OKC is joking about cupcakes, Felton doesn’t get those jokes anymore. Props to him for getting in a good routine and finding a role, too. He’s playing mostly backup one, but did get run at two.

 

Paul Pierce - Coach Doc Rivers wanted to run more Truth at the four and signs point to that being true. He played the vast majority of his minutes there.

 

Luc Mbah a Moute - He actually saw some minutes at center to go with minutes at SF and PF. The Clippers are going to miss Cole Aldrich more than most people think. 

 

Brandon Bass and Marreese Speights - Mo Buckets played straight five, so he’d likely be next man up if the indestructible DeAndre Jordan gets hurt. Bass saw mostly power forward.

 

Grizzlies 

 

Position Flexibility Rating: 3

 

The Grizzlies were ninth in preseason pace and sixth in 3-pointers attempted. We used to avoid them in DFS, but now they might be a target.

 

Andrew Harrison - He got a start at shooting guard, which probably indicates Wade Baldwin IV is the backup point.

 

Wade Baldwin IV - He only played two of his 112 minutes next to Mike Conley.

 

James Ennis - He’s likely going to start at the three, but Ennis did get some run at the two when the Grizzlies went big.

 

JaMychal Green - He saw about five minutes at the five and even three minutes at the three. A definite breakout pick and key to what coach David Fizdale wants to do.

 

Vince Carter- Fiz kept his word that he would play Vince at the four, but he was also at the two to go with the majority of his minutes at the three.

 

Troy Williams - An undrafted player who made the team. He played minutes at both forward spots and is a really nice fit with Fiz. If the Grizzlies have half of their injuries last year, we’ll see a lot of Williams.

 

Zach Randolph - He is a center now. Z-Bo played just 7.6 percent of his minutes next to Marc Gasol (108 minutes for Z-Bo, 113 minutes for Gasol).

 

Jazz

 

Position Flexibility Rating: 5

 

Dante Exum - He has the size and ability to guard twos, so there’s no doubt he’ll play some two. That said, he played a whopping 93 percent of his minutes in two-PG sets in the preseason. He looks like he’ll benefit the most while Gordon Hayward is out -- at least based on minutes. Basically, he’s Marcus Smart as a “point guard” getting shooting guard minutes. George Hill will be the “point guard” a lot, but the Jazz will run a ton of stuff through the others.

 

Rodney Hood - He’s technically a shooting guard, but he’ll play a lot of three, especially with Exum getting minutes at the two. The Jazz even used a 3-4 combo with Hood and Joe Ingles, who played three positions himself.

 

Joe Johnson - Coach Erik Spoelstra used Joe Cool as a four a bunch and coach Quin Snyder used him there rarely. Snyder loves triple-wing lineups and that won’t change. He should wind up starting.

 

Trey Lyles - My hopes of Lyles getting some three minutes didn’t happen, but he did get a couple center minutes. Expect him to get a lot of shots, especially with Hayward on the shelf.

 

Boris Diaw - He played a little too much power forward for my liking, which isn’t the most promising news for Trey Lyles.

 

Derrick Favors - Get well soon, Faves. He didn’t play too many minutes at the five, but he only played in one game. The Jazz likely kept Withey as a backup.

 

Gordon Hayward - He didn’t play much due to injury, but saw a lot of the triple-wing action before injury.

 

Joel Bolomboy - He was one of the most athletic big men in the draft and saw some minutes at center. He won’t be in the rotation, though.

 

Kings

 

Position Flexibility Rating: 4

 

Darren Collison and Ty Lawson - We saw a ton of two-PG lineups last year with Rajon Rondo, but these two only played together for 15 minutes — Collison had played 101 minutes and Lawson played 85 total.

 

Willie Cauley-Stein - He was not playing with Boogie much with just 38 of his 124 minutes coming next him. He looks like he’ll play more center.

 

Kosta Koufos - He was basically the reverse of WCS. Kosta played 64 of 99 minutes next to Boogie. He lost some weight and looks like he might have the inside track to start. His usage will be tiny, though.

 

DeMarcus Cousins - He was a monster with a 71.3 true shooting percentage. Joerger looks like he knows how to use him.

 

Rudy Gay - Basketball hell? Whatever the case, Joerger said he didn’t see Gay as a power forward too much and the stats back it up. He played just 13 of his 119 minutes at power forward. You’d think he gets traded anyway.

 

Omri Casspi - Another guy who lost a lot of minutes at PF. He only had about 10 percent of his minutes come at that spot.

 

Anthony Tolliver and Skal Labissiere - These two played mostly four and Skal even got a start in the Kentucky game vs. Washington. Tolliver also snuck in some minutes at the three.

 

Garrett Temple - Surprisingly, he played a lot of point guard. If Ty Lawson falters for whatever reason, Temple would get a nice amount of burn. Plus, it’s possible Lawson gets out of the rotation after Collison comes back.

 

Arron Afflalo and Ben McLemore - They will play both wings.

 

Lakers 

 

 Position Flexibility Rating: 4

 

Jordan Clarkson - After playing almost all point guard, Clarkson is now almost a straight two. In the preseason, he played 180 of his 187 minutes next to another point guard. Even if he doesn’t start, Clarkson will still get a ton of burn and should close games. Expect a scoring climb, but a dip in dimes — similar to Zach LaVine.

 

Lou Williams - Another converted guard. Lou used to play a lot of point earlier in his career, but he just logged only six minutes of his 154 preseason without another point guard next to him.

 

D’Angelo Russell - It’s all D-Loading. He logged just a few seconds next to the other points guards on the depth chart, Jose Calderon and Marcelo Huertas. Nobody has a bigger opportunity to make a statistical leap than Mr. Loading.

 

Nick Young - He changed from Swaggy P to Uncle P and his position changed a bit too. Young played just 28 of his minutes as a shooting guard and 128 minutes as a small forward. Most of those SG minutes came with Brandon Ingram as the three.

 

Brandon Ingram - As a 6’9” small forward, you’d think he would play a lot of minutes at the four. Well, not so much. He only played about 10 percent of his minutes at the four. The Lakers tried him as a primary ball-handler in the preseason, which was a staple of their Summer League plan in time without Russell.

 

Larry Nance - He played about four minutes at the five, but besides that it was all four.

 

Julius Randle - He’s not quite in the Draymond Green role yet with just 27 of his 212 minutes coming at the five. He played a good mix of those C minutes.

 

Luol Deng - He lived as a power forward in Miami, but didn’t even play 20 of his 74 minutes there. The Lakers did also limit his minutes in the preseason. 

 

Mavs

 

Position Flexibility Rating: 7 

 

Seth Curry - Quantum leap? He only played four minutes in the preseason next to Deron Williams with most of his minutes next to Devin Harris and J.J. Barea. With Harris likely out, we should see more Seth at the two. Coach Carlisle also played his starters together for a big chunk of their time.

 

Harrison Barnes - Ah Harry B. He was horrible, but that’s a column for another day. Barnes played 30 minutes as a stretch four in his team-high 145 minutes.

 

Wesley Matthews - He said he was excited about playing his natural SG spot, and it turns out that’s what happened. Although, he might slide over once the Mavs unleash Seth as a scorer.

 

J.J. Barea and Devin Harris - Barea should be used both on and off the ball while Harris needs to get healthy.

 

Dwight Powell - He played a good amount of minutes at center early in the preseason, but that was dialed back once Salah Mejri was healthy. Depending on the game script, we should still see some Dwight at the five. Although, I think he’ll be staying on the bench when there is an injury to Dirk Nowitzki or Andrew Bogut. Quincy Acy might be a better fit sans Dirk. Acy is also hurting.

 

Justin Anderson - The Swiss Army Knife of their rotation. Anderson saw run at the two, three and four in the preseason. They did the same thing last year, too. Wouldn’t it be crazy if Anderson takes Harry B’s starting job? He’s good.

 

Nuggets 

 

Position Flexibility Rating: 8

 

Jamal Murray - Can he play the one or not? Murray played a whopping 203 minutes in the preseason with 98 of those minutes coming at the one. He had a 19:12 assist:turnover ratio in that run and even had a 29.8 usage rate (via NBAWowy). It looked like a lost cause before preseason with sub-one assist:turnover ratio in Summer League and at Kentucky. He looks like he’d benefit with an Emmanuel Mudiay injury.

 

Gary Harris - An injury kept his minutes down and he didn’t get any run with the other shooting guards. All of his run came next to Mudiay, too. He only played 10 minutes, though.

 

Nikola Jokic - The Jurkic lineup is boomin’. They used that lineup for 87 minutes in the preseason, which is basically half of Jusuf Nurkic’s 164 minutes. Jokic’s numbers were also down with Nurk out there. I was in love with Jokic like a month ago, but Nurkic looking amazing hurts him. I still like him a lot, but it's going to be tough for him to be top 20 while Nurk is healthy.

 

Will Barton - He logged plenty of combo wing minutes last year, but he was almost all two in the preseason. A lot of that had to do with Gary Harris missing time. Barton looks like the favorite to start while Harris recovers from his partial groin tear.

 

Wilson Chandler - Last year, Chandler was expected to play a lot of four, and they did go that route again in the preseason. Coach Mike Malone wants to go small in the non-Jurkic minutes.

 

Kenneth Faried - He’s coming off the bench and he will play both big spots. The Manimal was at about 25 percent for his center minutes. He’s a big loser from the Nurkic breakout.

 

Danilo Gallinari - What a great preseason. Gallo only played 17 of his 119 minutes at power forward. If he’s healthy, he should be great in the points category.

 

Pelicans 

 

Position Flexibility Rating: 6

 

Anthony Davis - He was hurt, so we only got 98 minutes out of Brow. However, it was somewhat surprising he logged 36 percent of his minutes without Omer Asik or Alexis Ajinca out there. We’ll see more of that, especially if the next guy balls out.

 

Terrence Jones - Stay healthy, TJ. Anthony Davis played just 18.4 percent of his minutes next to Jones. Additionally, he saw about five percent of his minutes at center. I’m fully expecting both of these stats to go up.

 

Buddy Hield - He got bumped to the second unit, so it’s not looking up for him. Expect him to play most of his minutes at the two.

 

Langston Galloway - He played a lot of point guard, which was a role he saw diminish last year with the Knicks. This has a lot to do with not having Jrue Holiday. He’ll be getting most of his minutes as a backup to Tim Frazier.

 

Tim Frazier - Locked in for big minutes and should have a really nice dime rate.

 

Solomon Hill - Another stretch four in Alvin Gentry’s system. He played about 25 percent of his minutes there.

 

Lance Stephenson - He played a lot of two and three. With Stephenson having similar experience in running an O, he and Galloway should share the responsibility in the second unit.

 

Rockets

 

Position Flexibility Rating: 6

 

James Harden - PG James is live or lit or whatever you wanna call it. He played 144 of his 177 minutes without a point guard. The Beard had 14.5 assists per 40 minutes in the preseason. Giddy up.

 

Eric Gordon - Coach Mike D’Antoni wants him or Harden on the floor. Gordon played almost all of his minutes at the two.

 

Ryan Anderson - He played less than a minute at center and played straight four besides that. Harden is going to assist him like three times per game.

 

Trevor Ariza - The Rockets lived with Ariza at the four last year, but they don’t need it anymore with Ryno. He only played about 30 of his 153 minutes at the four. He should still play a bunch, but the Ryno arrival does hurt him slightly. D’Antoni helps him, of course.

 

Sam Dekker - He only played six total minutes last year, but MDA did use him at the four a bit in the preseason.

 

K.J. McDaniels. - He played a little two and a little three for the Rockets. He should get a nice little bump in minutes while Patrick Beverley is out. Corey Brewer played almost all three.

 

Montrezl Harrell - He is closer to 6’6” than 7’0”, but MDA is using him as a five man. In fact, he played almost 100 percent five. Nene also played straight five, so it’s a three-way battle with Clint Capela.

  

Spurs

 

Position Flexibility Rating: 6

 

Kyle Anderson - Coach Gregg Popovich said he wanted to play Slo-Mo at the one, three and four back when preseason started. Yeah, no. That didn’t happen. He played almost all of his minutes at the three and only about 20 percent of his minutes were next to Kawhi Leonard. Jonathon Simmons saw most of his run at the two.

 

Kawhi Leonard - He played 34.5 minutes per game after the break last year. I think 35 minutes of Kawhi would yield some nice value, right?

 

LaMarcus Aldridge - Somewhat surprisingly, he played just 20 percent of his minutes without Pau Gasol.

 

Dewayne Dedmon - I was surprised to see he only played 32 minutes next to David Lee. Dedmon played 77 minutes and Lee played 68 total. Dedmon is going to be very important for their second unit.

 

David Lee - Thankfully, the Spurs only used Lee for five minutes without another big next to him.

 

Patty Mills and Tony Parker - They both played straight one. Don’t expect much out of Dejounte Murray, who did play some two this month. Manu Ginobili did play some minutes in two-PG lineups as the three.

 

Suns 

 

Position Flexibility Rating: 5

 

Brandon Knight - He was on the court for 53 of his 120 minutes without Eric Bledsoe or Tyler Ulis next to him. He looks to be getting a good 18-20 minutes as the backup point and 5-7 minutes sprinkled in as a shooting guard.

 

Devin Booker - He grew an inch and the Suns did indeed play him next to both Bledsoe and Knight for 18 of his 132 minutes. Although, P.J. Tucker wasn’t healthy at all. Basically, don’t expect more than 2-4 minutes of Booker at the three.

 

Jared Dudley - He has grown into a stretch four and played just three of his 116 minutes at small forward. Expect him to start and get minutes in the mid-20s until the Suns want to unleash their rooks.

 

Marquese Chriss - He is a full-on hybrid PF/C. He played 49 percent of his minutes at center. That’s big if Tyson Chandler or Alex Len miss time.

 

Alex Len - The PF experience is DOA. He played 0.0 minutes next to Chandler.

 

Dragan Bender - The Suns have tried him at the three more than most thought. He’s extremely raw and is way behind Chriss for possible impact this year.

 

Thunder

 

Position Flexibility Rating: 4

 

Russell Westbrook - Hide yo kids, hide yo wife.

 

Victor Oladipo - He did get eight minutes on the court without a point guard. Plus, he ran the offense a lot when he was next to guys like Semaj Christon.

 

Steven Adams - He was hurt, but interestingly only logged three of his 57 minutes next to Enes Kanter.

 

Enes Kanter and Joffrey Lauvergne - These guys saw a lot of burn together. Kanter also only had 28 minutes without Russell Westbrook. While he might not start, Kanter’s minutes are safe. Ersan Ilyasova played basically straight four while it looks like Domantas Sabonis will start.

 

Andre Roberson - His position flexibility will drop a lot this year without KD around. He should play almost all three.

 

Kyle Singler, Alex Abrines and Anthony Morrow - These guys will fill in the gaps on the wings. Abrines is pretty solid.

 

Semaj Christon - He did play five minutes next to Westy.

 

Timberwolves

 

Position Flexibility Rating: 3

 

Zach LaVine - No more PG for LaVine, but that’s fine. He’s going to lead the team in treys and could be top 10 in the league. He also saw some minutes at the three — that was more about Andrew Wiggins and Shabazz Muhammad missing time, though.

 

Kris Dunn - He played exactly 26 seconds with Rubio this preseason. He’s the backup point guard for now. That may change, but for now it looks like Brandon Rush has the backup SG minutes. Rush also played a lot of SF while the Wolves were missing Bazz and Wiggins.

 

Gorgui Dieng - He played just 12 minutes at center in the preseason. On the other hand, he looked great at power forward. Nemanja Bjelica also took on all PF minutes. Belly was awesome in October, too. The Wolves are good.

 

Cole Aldrich - He actually played a minute next to Karl-Anthony Towns. KAT can play any position on offense. He’s that good.

 

Andrew Wiggins - He only played eight minutes in a 3-4 combo with Shabazz Muhammad. After 43 starts at SG last year, he’s basically a straight three. 

 

Trailblazers 

 

Position Flexibility Rating: 7

 

Damian Lillard - He played off the ball a bunch and even upped his shots-at-rim percentage to 40 in the preseason. His efficiency should be outstanding this year.

 

C.J. McCollum - He played 25 minutes at the point in the preseason — most of this is minutes without Dame even though C.J. ran the O with Dame, too. He could add to his Most Improved Player season with even more improvement.

 

Allen Crabbe - He’ll be coming off the bench with a ton of minutes at the two and three. Mostly two, though.

 

Evan Turner - He should be Moe Harkless’ backup for most of the season. He only played 41 of his 173 minutes next to Moe in the preseason. Expect Turner to facilitate the offense in the second unit when Dame and C.J. are off the court.

 

Moe Harkless - He still saw some decent run at the four with most of that 41-minute allotment with Turner counting for that burn.

 

Al-Farouq Aminu - Three minutes at center, but the rest is at the four. His days at the three look to be gone.

 

Meyers Leonard - He played some four and five, but he has to show he can stay on the court. He needs to hit shots, too.

 

Mason Plumlee and Ed Davis - With ALF playing straight four, we likely won’t see as much Ed “Boss” Davis four lineups. These guys will hold down the five spot until Festus Ezeli gets back.

 

Warriors

 

Position Flexibility Rating: 10

 

Kevin Durant - KD C? OMG. Coach Steve Kerr actually used KD there. The Mega Death Lineup saw 21 minutes of action in the preseason, by the way. As for all of KD’s four minutes, he played about 40 percent of his minutes at the four. Be afraid, NBA. Be very afraid.

 

Draymond Green - He played 33 of his 146 minutes as the center without the other bigs on the court. Expect him to get about 25 percent of his minutes at center while the Dubs are healthy. 

 

Klay Thompson - He only saw about 10 minutes next to two non-Patrick McCaw guards. You can expect Klay and Andre Iguodala to handle a lot of the wing minutes when KD is at the four.

 

Patrick McCaw - The Dubs only used the McCaw version of the Death Lineup for 2.1 minutes. Boo! Anyway, he’ll play a lot of two and three with plenty of ball-handling responsibility. 

 

Shaun Livingston - With Leandro Barbosa gone, Livingston will slot into mostly minutes at the one. He only played 13 minutes next to Curry in the preseason.

 

Ian Clark - He will be in the rotation while the Dubs go 10 deep to start the year. If McCaw keeps ballin’, it might force Kerr to tighten up. That said, Clark was no slouch either and he could even be better than McCaw.

 

David West - He saw about two-thirds of his run at center. This is going to be a different role for him.

 

 

 

 

ENJOY THE SEASON!

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher has covered fantasy hoops for eight years and this season is his second with Rotoworld. You can find him on Twitter talking about a player's shots at the rim.