Power Ratings: Examining each team's best 1-2 punch

Our Zach Harper takes a break from the norm and identifies the best duo combination for each team. Some of the results are very surprising.

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When David Blatt got ousted out of Cleveland with the No. 1 record in the Eastern Conference, it was pretty obvious what happened to him.

The method behind the Power Ratings
SportsLine's Power Ratings are based on a team's Neutral Win%. To calculate a team's Neutral Win% we simulate them playing every other team in the league thousands of times on a neutral court. Teams are rated in descending order of Average Neutral Win% vs. the other 29 teams.

SportsLine's Power Ratings are objective and numbers based, vastly different from subjective power rankings. Our method gives all teams the same schedule and we remove any bias from the analysis.

Our Power Ratings are based on healthy rosters. Any player not out for the season is assumed to be 100 percent. This method allows us to compare their actual Win% to their Neutral Win% and determine which teams have over or under performed relative to their talent. 

Neutral Win% is not consistent between rankings. For example, the difference between the No. 3 and No. 4 team could be wider than the difference between No. 15 and No. 20. While our sequential ranking is how we display, we provide the Neutral Win% so you can really identify how much of a gap there is between teams and whether the gap between two teams is really significant or not.

He didn't have a partner in crime.

Veteran role players like Mo Williams and Richard Jefferson weren't on his side after inconsistencies in playing time. Neither Kyrie Irving nor Kevin Love were devoted enough toward their coach to go against the undermining happening by LeBron James.

Looking back on everything, it seems pretty obvious that James may not have been actively trying to get his coach fired, but he also wasn't actively trying to keep Blatt employed neither.

Not even David Griffin or Tyronn Lue had Blatt's back in this whole process. Lue was throwing subtle shots at Blatt in his first talk to the media, saying he would do things better but not differently than Blatt.

Blatt was a man without a confidant in that organization and it cost him his job. Because of that, I want to look at the top two-man combinations or the struggling combinations for each team in this week's Power Ratings.

Friends don't let friends get Blatt'd.

SPORTSLINE'S NBA POWER RATINGS
RANK TEAM NEUTRAL WIN% WIN PROJ. ATS% PLAYOFF%
1
Golden State Warriors
With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson on the floor together, the combination shoots 18.8 3-pointers per 36 minutes and hits an absurd 45.7 percent of those. With just Draymond Green on the court and no Curry, the Warriors are a zero when it comes to net rating. Add Curry to the mix with Draymond and the Warriors jump to plus-17.2 per 100 possessions. Both of these combinations work.
78.8% 70.8 60.5% 100%
2
San Antonio Spurs
Here's how dominant the Spurs are. On the NBA media stats site, numbers are listed in red when they're significantly below average of that team's usual performance. Of the 10 most used two-man combinations for the Spurs, eight of those net ratings are in the red, but not a single one of them is below a plus-8.2 and six of them are plus double-digit net ratings. The Spurs break all of these measurements.
74.6% 65.7 68.2% 100%
3
Oklahoma City Thunder
Do you know how special the Kyle Singler-Enes Kanter combination is? Ha! You probably assumed I'd go with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, didn't you? OK, let's look up Singler-Kanter. Oh no ... the Thunder are a minus-5.5 per 100 possessions with them. We need a palate cleanser. Thunder are plus-15.5 with Durant-Westbrook. OK, that is a much more interesting stat for intriguing duos.
69.2% 56.0 41.3% 100%
4
Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs being so bad against the spread is easy to explain considering their first- half injuries. And still the Cavs are far and away the class of the Eastern Conference with LeBron James looking mad and rejuvenated. But shouldn't they start putting up more dominant numbers?
64.5% 57.1 45.0% 100%
5
Los Angeles Clippers
It's not Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan. It's not DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. It's not CP3 and Griffin. Put Chris Paul and J.J. Redick on the floor together and it's murder for the opponents. The Clippers are plus-15.2 per 100 possessions with that backcourt combo on the court. They're actually a net negative when you take either off the floor.
60.0% 51.0 48.8% 99.6%
6
Atlanta Hawks
Something interesting of note about the Hawks. With Al Horford and Jeff Teague on the floor together, they're a minus-3.0 per 100 this season. With Horford on the floor with Dennis Schroder, the Hawks are a plus-11.3. Teague is a bargain now with the new cap and some like the potential of Schroder better. That makes Teague, at some point, an extremely valuable trade chip this summer.
59.2% 48.2 48.8% 99.2%
7
Toronto Raptors
I'll keep banging this drum because it keeps showing absurd results. The Kyle Lowry-DeMar DeRozan combination is good but the Kyle Lowry-Cory Joseph backcourt with DeRozan on the wing is so much better. Put CoJo and Lowry on the floor together and the Raps are plus-14.5 per 100. That offensive-minded Raptors team? They allow just 94.5 points per 100 possessions with the small backcourt. The team is so good at small ball.
59.2% 52.9  58.1% 100.0%
8
Boston Celtics
Some may think of Avery Bradley as just a defensive wunderkind, but his impact on the offense of Isaiah Thomas is quite important too. Without Bradley, Isaiah shoots 38.8 percent from the field and only 27.4 percent from deep. Put Bradley on the floor and Thomas' assists go up by two and the shooting improves to 44.8 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from downtown.
59.0% 46.4 54.6% 96.5%
9
Memphis Grizzlies
Is it the end of an era? I'm not talking about the Grizzlies' era of toughness and being a pain in the West's behind being over. The combo of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol not being effective anymore is tough to swallow. Both players are more efficient individually playing next to each other. But Memphis is a minus-5.2 per 100 with Z-Bo and Gasol together. Plus-2.2 when it's Gasol without Z-Bo. Cue the Sarah McLaughlin music.
54.8% 45.9 45.5% 98.7%
10
Chicago Bulls
What if I told you Tony Snell was the key to the Bulls being very good? You wouldn't say Snell is having a banner season, but when he's out there, the Bulls seem to excel. Jimmy Butler is a better shooter (3-point percentage up 4.5 percent) and a better playmaker (assists up, turnovers down) with Snell on the floor. Snell on the bench, Butler is a minus-4.2 per 100. With Snell on the floor, Butler is a plus-4.1. Fred Hoiberg needs semi-competent wings.
54.6% 48.0 39.5% 98.3%
11
Indiana Pacers
For all of the concentration on stretch-4 Paul George, small ball, and a faster more efficient offense when it comes to the Pacers, it's interesting the best pairing for them has been Lavoy Allen and Jordan Hill this season. The Pacers are a plus-13 with these two on the floor, putting up a monster offense (109.7) and a deadly defense (96.7). Their frontcourt fuels them more than the small ball so far.
54.0% 44.2 52.3% 88.1%
12
Detroit Pistons
We're not talking Reggie Jackson. We're not talking Andre Drummond. The combination we're discussing here is Marcus Morris and Anthony Tolliver. This is when Stan Van Gundy and his system are at their best. Throw these two on the floor together and the Pistons are plus-12.5. The offense (105) is really good. The defense (92.6) is ridiculously stingy. The multiple stretch-4 type of players out there for SVG is where the Pistons are maximized.
52.7% 43.2 54.8%  77.9%
13
Washington Wizards
John Wall shoots a lot better with Bradley Beal on the floor. No surprise there. Beal shoots a lot better with Wall on the bench. Big surprise there. With both of these guys playing together again, SportsLine likes the Wizards a lot moving forward, bumping them up five spots. What do I make out of it? I have no idea how to parse out Randy Wittman led information anymore so I just give up.
51.4% 42.4 53.7% 72.1%
14
Utah Jazz
It's tough to judge a combination for the Jazz this season because they've had so many injuries that it's hard to find some consistency with either of them. Just have Rudy Gobert out there with anybody. Gobert with Gordon Hayward? Plus-6.9 per 100. Gobert with Rodney Hood? Plus-5.9. Gobert with Raul Neto? Plus-10. Just have Gobert out there with anybody and the Jazz are good. Imagine if they could get Derrick Favors back.
50.5% 39.4 52.4% 56.0%
15
New Orleans Pelicans
Put Ryan Anderson on the floor with Anthony Davis and the Pels go from a minus-4.4 to a plus-3.0 per 100. It also boosts The Brow to averages of 24.8 points and 10.7 rebounds with a 59 true shooting percentage. 24 and 10 with a 59 TS percentage has been done 27 times, with Davis doing it last season. A second season of it would put him in exclusive club with Kareem, Barkley, Malone, Shaq and the Admiral.
48.8% 35.4 44.2% 11.5%
16
Houston Rockets
For all of the malaise we've seen with the Rockets this season, it's good to see Dwight Howard has a positive effect on one of his teammates. When he's on the court with James Harden, Harden pushes his way over a 60 true shooting percentage. He hits nearly three percent more of his shots overall and nine percent better on 3-pointers. They also go from being down 5.5 to being up one with the two of them together. It's a start.
48.7% 41.2 41.3% 83.3%
17
Dallas Mavericks
Here's how hard it is to figure out the wizardry Rick Carlisle is executing with the Mavericks this year. Of the Mavs' 30 most used two-man combinations, their best one isn't Dirk Nowitzki with Chandler Parsons or with Wes Matthews or even with Zaza Pachulia. The best one is Dirk with Raymond Felton, and it's a plus-9.2 per 100. Nothing in this world makes sense.
48.6% 42.8 58.7% 92.3%
18
Miami Heat
It's not really a secret that the Heat are a better team without Hassan Whiteside in the game. But it's amazing how much Chris Bosh shouldn't be playing alongside Whiteside. Miami is three points better, Bosh's scoring average jumps 9.6 points per 36 minutes, and his true shooting catapults from 52.6 percent to a ridiculous 61.3 percent without Hassan. He has to be pleading with Pat Riley not to offer that big deal this summer.
47.7% 40.7 46.5% 39.0%
19
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers are still within shouting distance of the No. 8 seed in the West because of the dynamite duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. The Blazers are obviously better with the two of them in the game than only one of them, but here's the crazy stat. When they're on the floor together, they're both 40 percent 3-point shooters on nearly 15 attempts per 36 minutes. That is truly some Steph Curry-Klay Thompson stuff right there.
47.3% 37.1 52.2% 29.2%
20
Orlando Magic
Tough thing to reconcile for Orlando so far is they're just much better without Elfrid Payton on the floor. They can't play him and Victor Oladipo together (minus-6.7). But when they put him on the floor with Channing Frye, everything opens up and they outscore their opponents by 8.2 points per 100 possessions. He needs definite shooters around him to succeed.
46.4% 36.7 56.1% 5.4%
21
Sacramento Kings
The surging Sacramento Kings may have something with this DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein duo. Now Cousins' per 36-minute averages don't change much when it comes to the addition of WCS, and actually his shooting percentages dip a bit. But what happens to the Kings? They go from a plus-0.6 per 100 with Cousins to a plus-12.1 per 100 with Cousins and Cauley-Stein together. It's just getting started too.
46.4% 37.6 51.2% 29.1%
22
New York Knicks
Three impressive things about the Carmelo Anthony-Kristaps Porzingis combination: 1.) of 30 most used combos, their plus-3.7 per 100 is second best on the team (Melo-Lance Thomas plus-4.5); 2.) Anthony shoots 13 percent better from deep with Porzingis on the floor; 3.) Kristaps averages 18.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per 36 minutes when Melo is playing. They should always be together.
43.1% 37.4 56.5% 9.1%
23
Charlotte Hornets
How much does the playmaking and spacing the Hornets get with Nicolas Batum out there affect Kemba Walker? With Batum on the floor, Walker has finally become a very good 3-point shooter, making 43.4 percent from deep. When Batum is on the bench, Walker drops to 23.1 percent. That's a difference of 20 percent for Kemba from downtown! 16.3 percent above the break on threes without Batum as opposed to 46.2 percent above the break with him.
41.2% 37.9 48.8% 13.9%
24
Phoenix Suns
The combination of Tyson Chandler and Markieff Morris has produced a net rating of minus-15 per 100 in 317 minutes. It's the worst combination of their 30 most used two-man combos. At a certain point, even cheapskate Robert Sarver has to refund the money or part of the money paid by the season ticket holders, right? Or let them shoot around with Devin Booker to ease the pain?
40.2% 27.9 40.0% 0.0%
25
Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have been a disaster this season, but for the most part they're pretty competitive when Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are on the court together. Bucks are a minus-2.8 per 100 with the two of them on the floor which doesn't sound great, but it's better than the minus-8.2 per 100 Milwaukee hits when Middleton heads to the bench and leaves Giannis out there to troubleshoot on his own.
40.1% 33.6 52.2% 0.7%
26
Denver Nuggets
The duo of Will Barton and Nikola Jokic has been great for the Nuggets and even greater for Barton's production. Denver is plus-9.8 per 100 with these two on the floor together. When Jokic is on the bench, Barton averages 16-7-3 while shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from deep. With Jokic on the floor, Barton jumps to 23-7-3 with 49.1/46.8 shooting.
37.6% 30.9 52.4% 0.4%
27
Brooklyn Nets
It may not shock you to learn that the first positive two-man combination on the Nets happened to be Brook Lopez with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (plus-1.6). Lopez is their best player and RHJ is one of the few bright spots in a dim season. It also shouldn't shock you that the two worst of their 30 most used combos were Andrea Bargnani with Bojan Bogdanovic (minus-14.7) and Bargs with Shane Larkin (minus-17.3).
37.3% 24.5 50.0% 0.0%
28
Minnesota Timberwolves
The combination of Ricky Rubio and Karl-Anthony Towns has been pretty incredible for the Wolves, considering they've been such a disaster over the last month. When Towns is on the court without Rubio, the Wolves are a minus-20.6 per 100 possessions. With Rubio and Towns on the court together, they're a winning team at plus-1.9 per 100 possessions. So just play them for 48 minutes each, right?
36.8% 24.7 40.9% 0.0%
29
Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers have put together a few wins since Christmas and during that time, the combination of Ish Smith and Jahlil Okafor has been very good for the Sixers' rookie. Okafor has been fine without Smith on the court over the last 12 games, averaging 22 and 9 per 36 minutes while making 49.2 percent of his shots. With Ish? 21 and 7, but he?s making 63.9 percent of his shots.
23.8% 14.6 45.5% 0.0%
30
Los Angeles Lakers
Trying to find a positive two-man combination for the Lakers was kind of depressing. The NBA's media stats site lists the 30 most used two-man combinations for each page. As I was scrolling down, 23 of the first 30 were down double digits per 100 possessions. The first 17 were down double digits. It wasn't until the 30th one that I got a positive net rating. Jordan Clarkson and Anthony Brown: plus-0.2 per 100 possessions.
23.4% 15.8 41.3% 0.0%
RANK TEAM NEUTRAL WIN% WIN PROJ. ATS% PLAYOFF%
1
Golden State Warriors
With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson on the floor together, the combination shoots 18.8 3-pointers per 36 minutes and hits an absurd 45.7 percent of those. With just Draymond Green on the court and no Curry, the Warriors are a zero when it comes to net rating. Add Curry to the mix with Draymond and the Warriors jump to plus-17.2 per 100 possessions. Both of these combinations work.
78.8% 70.8 60.5% 100%
2
San Antonio Spurs
Here's how dominant the Spurs are. On the NBA media stats site, numbers are listed in red when they're significantly below average of that team's usual performance. Of the 10 most used two-man combinations for the Spurs, eight of those net ratings are in the red, but not a single one of them is below a plus-8.2 and six of them are plus double-digit net ratings. The Spurs break all of these measurements.
74.6% 65.7 68.2% 100%
3
Oklahoma City Thunder
Do you know how special the Kyle Singler-Enes Kanter combination is? Ha! You probably assumed I'd go with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, didn't you? OK, let's look up Singler-Kanter. Oh no ... the Thunder are a minus-5.5 per 100 possessions with them. We need a palate cleanser. Thunder are plus-15.5 with Durant-Westbrook. OK, that is a much more interesting stat for intriguing duos.
69.2% 56.0 41.3% 100%
4
Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs being so bad against the spread is easy to explain considering their first- half injuries. And still the Cavs are far and away the class of the Eastern Conference with LeBron James looking mad and rejuvenated. But shouldn't they start putting up more dominant numbers?
64.5% 57.1 45.0% 100%
5
Los Angeles Clippers
It's not Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan. It's not DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. It's not CP3 and Griffin. Put Chris Paul and J.J. Redick on the floor together and it's murder for the opponents. The Clippers are plus-15.2 per 100 possessions with that backcourt combo on the court. They're actually a net negative when you take either off the floor.
60.0% 51.0 48.8% 99.6%
6
Atlanta Hawks
Something interesting of note about the Hawks. With Al Horford and Jeff Teague on the floor together, they're a minus-3.0 per 100 this season. With Horford on the floor with Dennis Schroder, the Hawks are a plus-11.3. Teague is a bargain now with the new cap and some like the potential of Schroder better. That makes Teague, at some point, an extremely valuable trade chip this summer.
59.2% 48.2 48.8% 99.2%
7
Toronto Raptors
I'll keep banging this drum because it keeps showing absurd results. The Kyle Lowry-DeMar DeRozan combination is good but the Kyle Lowry-Cory Joseph backcourt with DeRozan on the wing is so much better. Put CoJo and Lowry on the floor together and the Raps are plus-14.5 per 100. That offensive-minded Raptors team? They allow just 94.5 points per 100 possessions with the small backcourt. The team is so good at small ball.
59.2% 52.9  58.1% 100.0%
8
Boston Celtics
Some may think of Avery Bradley as just a defensive wunderkind, but his impact on the offense of Isaiah Thomas is quite important too. Without Bradley, Isaiah shoots 38.8 percent from the field and only 27.4 percent from deep. Put Bradley on the floor and Thomas' assists go up by two and the shooting improves to 44.8 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from downtown.
59.0% 46.4 54.6% 96.5%
9
Memphis Grizzlies
Is it the end of an era? I'm not talking about the Grizzlies' era of toughness and being a pain in the West's behind being over. The combo of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol not being effective anymore is tough to swallow. Both players are more efficient individually playing next to each other. But Memphis is a minus-5.2 per 100 with Z-Bo and Gasol together. Plus-2.2 when it's Gasol without Z-Bo. Cue the Sarah McLaughlin music.
54.8% 45.9 45.5% 98.7%
10
Chicago Bulls
What if I told you Tony Snell was the key to the Bulls being very good? You wouldn't say Snell is having a banner season, but when he's out there, the Bulls seem to excel. Jimmy Butler is a better shooter (3-point percentage up 4.5 percent) and a better playmaker (assists up, turnovers down) with Snell on the floor. Snell on the bench, Butler is a minus-4.2 per 100. With Snell on the floor, Butler is a plus-4.1. Fred Hoiberg needs semi-competent wings.
54.6% 48.0 39.5% 98.3%
11
Indiana Pacers
For all of the concentration on stretch-4 Paul George, small ball, and a faster more efficient offense when it comes to the Pacers, it's interesting the best pairing for them has been Lavoy Allen and Jordan Hill this season. The Pacers are a plus-13 with these two on the floor, putting up a monster offense (109.7) and a deadly defense (96.7). Their frontcourt fuels them more than the small ball so far.
54.0% 44.2 52.3% 88.1%
12
Detroit Pistons
We're not talking Reggie Jackson. We're not talking Andre Drummond. The combination we're discussing here is Marcus Morris and Anthony Tolliver. This is when Stan Van Gundy and his system are at their best. Throw these two on the floor together and the Pistons are plus-12.5. The offense (105) is really good. The defense (92.6) is ridiculously stingy. The multiple stretch-4 type of players out there for SVG is where the Pistons are maximized.
52.7% 43.2 54.8%  77.9%
13
Washington Wizards
John Wall shoots a lot better with Bradley Beal on the floor. No surprise there. Beal shoots a lot better with Wall on the bench. Big surprise there. With both of these guys playing together again, SportsLine likes the Wizards a lot moving forward, bumping them up five spots. What do I make out of it? I have no idea how to parse out Randy Wittman led information anymore so I just give up.
51.4% 42.4 53.7% 72.1%
14
Utah Jazz
It's tough to judge a combination for the Jazz this season because they've had so many injuries that it's hard to find some consistency with either of them. Just have Rudy Gobert out there with anybody. Gobert with Gordon Hayward? Plus-6.9 per 100. Gobert with Rodney Hood? Plus-5.9. Gobert with Raul Neto? Plus-10. Just have Gobert out there with anybody and the Jazz are good. Imagine if they could get Derrick Favors back.
50.5% 39.4 52.4% 56.0%
15
New Orleans Pelicans
Put Ryan Anderson on the floor with Anthony Davis and the Pels go from a minus-4.4 to a plus-3.0 per 100. It also boosts The Brow to averages of 24.8 points and 10.7 rebounds with a 59 true shooting percentage. 24 and 10 with a 59 TS percentage has been done 27 times, with Davis doing it last season. A second season of it would put him in exclusive club with Kareem, Barkley, Malone, Shaq and the Admiral.
48.8% 35.4 44.2% 11.5%
16
Houston Rockets
For all of the malaise we've seen with the Rockets this season, it's good to see Dwight Howard has a positive effect on one of his teammates. When he's on the court with James Harden, Harden pushes his way over a 60 true shooting percentage. He hits nearly three percent more of his shots overall and nine percent better on 3-pointers. They also go from being down 5.5 to being up one with the two of them together. It's a start.
48.7% 41.2 41.3% 83.3%
17
Dallas Mavericks
Here's how hard it is to figure out the wizardry Rick Carlisle is executing with the Mavericks this year. Of the Mavs' 30 most used two-man combinations, their best one isn't Dirk Nowitzki with Chandler Parsons or with Wes Matthews or even with Zaza Pachulia. The best one is Dirk with Raymond Felton, and it's a plus-9.2 per 100. Nothing in this world makes sense.
48.6% 42.8 58.7% 92.3%
18
Miami Heat
It's not really a secret that the Heat are a better team without Hassan Whiteside in the game. But it's amazing how much Chris Bosh shouldn't be playing alongside Whiteside. Miami is three points better, Bosh's scoring average jumps 9.6 points per 36 minutes, and his true shooting catapults from 52.6 percent to a ridiculous 61.3 percent without Hassan. He has to be pleading with Pat Riley not to offer that big deal this summer.
47.7% 40.7 46.5% 39.0%
19
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers are still within shouting distance of the No. 8 seed in the West because of the dynamite duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. The Blazers are obviously better with the two of them in the game than only one of them, but here's the crazy stat. When they're on the floor together, they're both 40 percent 3-point shooters on nearly 15 attempts per 36 minutes. That is truly some Steph Curry-Klay Thompson stuff right there.
47.3% 37.1 52.2% 29.2%
20
Orlando Magic
Tough thing to reconcile for Orlando so far is they're just much better without Elfrid Payton on the floor. They can't play him and Victor Oladipo together (minus-6.7). But when they put him on the floor with Channing Frye, everything opens up and they outscore their opponents by 8.2 points per 100 possessions. He needs definite shooters around him to succeed.
46.4% 36.7 56.1% 5.4%
21
Sacramento Kings
The surging Sacramento Kings may have something with this DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein duo. Now Cousins' per 36-minute averages don't change much when it comes to the addition of WCS, and actually his shooting percentages dip a bit. But what happens to the Kings? They go from a plus-0.6 per 100 with Cousins to a plus-12.1 per 100 with Cousins and Cauley-Stein together. It's just getting started too.
46.4% 37.6 51.2% 29.1%
22
New York Knicks
Three impressive things about the Carmelo Anthony-Kristaps Porzingis combination: 1.) of 30 most used combos, their plus-3.7 per 100 is second best on the team (Melo-Lance Thomas plus-4.5); 2.) Anthony shoots 13 percent better from deep with Porzingis on the floor; 3.) Kristaps averages 18.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per 36 minutes when Melo is playing. They should always be together.
43.1% 37.4 56.5% 9.1%
23
Charlotte Hornets
How much does the playmaking and spacing the Hornets get with Nicolas Batum out there affect Kemba Walker? With Batum on the floor, Walker has finally become a very good 3-point shooter, making 43.4 percent from deep. When Batum is on the bench, Walker drops to 23.1 percent. That's a difference of 20 percent for Kemba from downtown! 16.3 percent above the break on threes without Batum as opposed to 46.2 percent above the break with him.
41.2% 37.9 48.8% 13.9%
24
Phoenix Suns
The combination of Tyson Chandler and Markieff Morris has produced a net rating of minus-15 per 100 in 317 minutes. It's the worst combination of their 30 most used two-man combos. At a certain point, even cheapskate Robert Sarver has to refund the money or part of the money paid by the season ticket holders, right? Or let them shoot around with Devin Booker to ease the pain?
40.2% 27.9 40.0% 0.0%
25
Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have been a disaster this season, but for the most part they're pretty competitive when Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are on the court together. Bucks are a minus-2.8 per 100 with the two of them on the floor which doesn't sound great, but it's better than the minus-8.2 per 100 Milwaukee hits when Middleton heads to the bench and leaves Giannis out there to troubleshoot on his own.
40.1% 33.6 52.2% 0.7%
26
Denver Nuggets
The duo of Will Barton and Nikola Jokic has been great for the Nuggets and even greater for Barton's production. Denver is plus-9.8 per 100 with these two on the floor together. When Jokic is on the bench, Barton averages 16-7-3 while shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from deep. With Jokic on the floor, Barton jumps to 23-7-3 with 49.1/46.8 shooting.
37.6% 30.9 52.4% 0.4%
27
Brooklyn Nets
It may not shock you to learn that the first positive two-man combination on the Nets happened to be Brook Lopez with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (plus-1.6). Lopez is their best player and RHJ is one of the few bright spots in a dim season. It also shouldn't shock you that the two worst of their 30 most used combos were Andrea Bargnani with Bojan Bogdanovic (minus-14.7) and Bargs with Shane Larkin (minus-17.3).
37.3% 24.5 50.0% 0.0%
28
Minnesota Timberwolves
The combination of Ricky Rubio and Karl-Anthony Towns has been pretty incredible for the Wolves, considering they've been such a disaster over the last month. When Towns is on the court without Rubio, the Wolves are a minus-20.6 per 100 possessions. With Rubio and Towns on the court together, they're a winning team at plus-1.9 per 100 possessions. So just play them for 48 minutes each, right?
36.8% 24.7 40.9% 0.0%
29
Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers have put together a few wins since Christmas and during that time, the combination of Ish Smith and Jahlil Okafor has been very good for the Sixers' rookie. Okafor has been fine without Smith on the court over the last 12 games, averaging 22 and 9 per 36 minutes while making 49.2 percent of his shots. With Ish? 21 and 7, but he?s making 63.9 percent of his shots.
23.8% 14.6 45.5% 0.0%
30
Los Angeles Lakers
Trying to find a positive two-man combination for the Lakers was kind of depressing. The NBA's media stats site lists the 30 most used two-man combinations for each page. As I was scrolling down, 23 of the first 30 were down double digits per 100 possessions. The first 17 were down double digits. It wasn't until the 30th one that I got a positive net rating. Jordan Clarkson and Anthony Brown: plus-0.2 per 100 possessions.
23.4% 15.8 41.3% 0.0%