Many Kings fans might be surprised at this lineup but the numbers don’t lie. It is a small sample size since Dave Joerger has experimented with many different lineups this season, but the two big men is the tandem I have wanted to see since day one. [Tune in to previous episodes of the CK Podcast for proof]
Before I give you the lineup, let me give you the context of how Bleacher Report came up with these metrics. They weighted volume and efficiency to get a lineup score. Then they took each group’s net rating and multiplied it by the number of minutes spent on the floor.
Each team gets rewarded for high levels of performance, or for maintaining more moderate numbers over lengthier durations. They only did the metrics on lineups that had a minimum of 20 minutes played together. [These stats were current heading into games on November 13]
Best Lineup: De’Aaron Fox, Garrett Temple, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Skal Labissiere, Kosta Koufos
Minutes Played: 29
Net Rating: 15.5
Fox, Temple and Bogdanovic are most likely not a surprise for many but Labissiere and Koufos might be.
I have seen negative comments about Koufos all over social media and how he hurts the team. But sometimes, the recreational fan doesn’t understand the little things that don’t show up in a box score but help a team win games, and Koufos has been that player his entire career.
According to Synergy Sports, Koufos has a rating of excellent on overall defense, which ranks him in the 92% percentile. In 105 possessions, he has allowed 74 points. Only (10 forward/center players) that have registered a minimum of seven games this season have been better than Koufos on defense.
Now when you look at Willie Cauley-Stein on defense, he has an overall rating of below average, which puts him amongst the worst defenders statistically in the NBA. In 137 possessions, he has allowed 142 points. I will dive into the specifics of all these stats and the rest of the players on the next CK Podcast so you’re going to want to turn on your notifications.
Before I wrap up this short article, I want to emphasize to Kings fans that this season is not about victories. I know it is difficult to be patient when the Kings have missed the playoffs since 2007, but this organization has a plan in place and I haven’t been able to say that in a long time. Just remember, this is the first time they have gone through a real rebuild, and true rebuilds take time.