Dual-Point Guard Lineups Better Than Single-Point Guard Lineups in Today's NBA

Jared Dubin@@JADubin5Featured ColumnistOctober 2, 2014

Oklahoma City Thunder guards Reggie Jackson, left, and Russell Westbrook, right, talk during the fourth quarter of the Thunder's preseason NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. Oklahoma City won 109-81.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Because of the rule changes that have been instituted, as well as the new defensive systems NBA teams have adopted to combat them over the last few years, ball movement and perimeter passing has never been more important. 

More and more over the last few years, we've been seeing NBA teams turn to lineups with two point guards on the floor in order to better facilitate that movement. It's worth examining, though, whether that trend is accomplishing anything. Let's take a look at the numbers from last season to give us a better idea.  

As you can see, dual-point guard lineups fared slightly better than traditional lineups on both offense and defense. In the 22,000-plus minutes played by dual-point guard lineups last season, they outscored opponents by 105 points. To be sure, this is not an astronomical number, but it is a positive one. 

(Note: To see offensive and defensive ratings of each 2-guard lineup, click on options at the top of each chart below.)

If we remove any dual-PG lineup that played fewer than 100 minutes together, the scoring margin gets even better. In just over 20,000 minutes, the dual-PG lineups that played at least 100 minutes together outscored opponents by 313 points.

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Again, this is not groundbreaking, but the highest-usage lineups with two point guards on the floor actually fared quite well on both ends. It stands to reason then that we should also examine which of those lineups were most effective on both offense and defense, as well as overall. 

While there are some surprising tandems atop the offensive (Isaiah Thomas and Ray McCallum) and defensive (Andre Miller and Nate Robinson) leaderboards, the dual-point guard lineups with the best Net Rtg (offensive efficiency minus defensive efficiency) from last season are an entirely expected bunch. 

Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson lead the way with strong showings on both ends of the court. The Kyle Lowry-Greivis Vasquez lineup was a big part of Toronto's second-half success. Any lineup with Chris Paul is going to be good. And the Goran Dragic-Eric Bledsoe pairing was as big a reason as any that the Suns were one of last year's surprise teams. 

All stats courtesy of nba.com/stats unless otherwise noted.

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