My Views on Usage Rates (%) for the Starting Lineup ('04 Pistons Model)

Using basketballreference as a source I've studied the easy to understand "advanced analytics". And have noticed a pattern. Typically, the higher a person's usage rate, the lower the offensive rating.

A HoF player like Lebron can use 32% of the offense and have a ppp of 1.18. (118 points per 100 possession game)

Josh Smith last year had 28% of the offense and has a ppp 1.01 (101 points per possession)

Superstar AND Role player? Tyson Chandler Model

Using win share /48 there are instances where a player can perform like a superstar based on low efficient usage. * An example is Tyson Chandler who made the leap to near star status sporting a 22% WS/48 (superior to many superstars).

This is because Tyson has a role where he doesn't shoot much but his team scores. When he does shoot it is with a 70% true shooting. Simply by playing off teammates and maintaining low usage (14%) he has become a dominant center as a role player.

So even if you miss a shot. Tyson Chandler scoring is nearly automatic and then there is the added threat of a foul and a free throw, which is more to the good.His defensive points per possession is also strong as well.

Tyson gobbled nearly 13% of all offensive rebounds available in the past 2 years. He worked hard off of his teammates and posted a regular season higher win share % than Dirk.

Now Tyson Chandler has had a 130+ offensive rating for the past 2 years. The highest in NBA history .

This is the style of basketball the Hawks should emulate. Tyson Chandler ball as opposed to Lebron James ball.

The Hawks may not have 1 star, but at the right positions, you have 2 imphortant things:

A) size and

B) players who can draw double coverage.

1-Jeff Teague at PG - in PnR situation his speed creates 2 on 1 situations allowing shooters to open.

2- The SG should be a capable 3 point shooter and a noted threat in fast break. Either with 3s or layins.

3 - Smith at the SF, this is your Tyson Chandler and Dwight Howard all rolled in one. He has the size and athleticism advantage and elite role player abilities. In the post vs SFs sometimes he is clumsy, but against guards that is an automatic double team. Take advantage with the PG and SG. Also Horford or Zaza will be in the paint (triple post style) for interior passes.

4 - Horford at the PF - Since he's a reputable shooter from midrange, put him there instead of Josh Smith. Josh Smith should be busy making plays inside not being the stretch forward.

5 - Pachulia - Sporting a 13% offensive rebounding rate makes the Hawks a top rebounding team and gives them a mulligan on offense. From there the defense is scrambling and the offensive rebounder can pass it back out for an open shot or score if able.


The Power Forward position

is the beneficiary of guards play and stay at the top of the key, waiting for penetrators and post up men to kick it out for a jump shot.

Playing a person at the PF means you want them shooting the top of the key jumper. This is not where you want Smith's usage/possessions to come from.

Also even the most athletic PFs never gets involved in the fast break unless they bring the ball up. Reason being there are only 3 lanes one for the PG(1, middle lane orchestrating the break), the SG(2-wing lane), and the SF(3-wing lane). This is main reason the 2 and 3 are called wings.

If you think of the most athletic undersized PFs they never got involved in the fast break unless they led the break themselves.

Shooting long top of key jumpers and NOT giving Smith the wing position for fast breaks is wasting Josh Smith's and his team's potential.

Concerning usage rate and Points Per possession Smith at the PF makes his usage rate way too high.

Basketball fans and coaches want him to:

A) command double teams down low for shooters (size and athleticism)

B) offensive rebound (size and athleticism) and finish inside or get fouled

C) fill the wing in transition (size and athleticism) where he can use his athleticism while he still has it.

So that is too put him the SF position.

Adding a center allows you to spread the offense around because there's a chance that someone will get the rebound.

So getting the ball to a specific player is less important!

Lineups to Balance Usage Rates; raise Smith's efficiency; and make Hawks better overall

Jeff Teague - 21% (career high by 1 %)
Anthony Morrow - 22% *
Josh Smith - 23% (step down from last year, raise efficiency)(addition by subtraction)
Al Horford - 22% -------(career high by 2.3%)
Zaza Pachulia - 14% ---------(same as last year)

The truth is that the Atlanta Hawks with a center would be much like the 90s teams or the early 2000s Pistons.

The Pistons used size and muscle to hold the opposition to the 70s and 80s in points and the PG, SG,SF, PF all get 16ppg and you win in the 90s.

The Hawks have been able to do this on occasion (for example Orlando Magic and Chicago in 2011) but never had a starting center to double down on and hold a permanent rebounding edge to turn the tide.

This lineup gives the Hawks 50%+ rebounding in the frontcourt and THAT can cover up lots of offensive mistakes. It essentially gives you a mulligan, if your offense stagnates or fails to score.


* The asterisk by Morrow is that Morrow shot (53.1% true shooting%. Those are near Pargo #s). The hope is stacking defense bigs means its enough. At any rate his offensive rate is higher than the 04 Detroit Pistons

*Can Jenkins post efficient shooting % and be worth 22% of the offense?)


Part 2


Offensively, this lineup allows Jeff Teague and Al Horford to "step up" and allows Josh Smith to play within himself. Defensively, this lineup lets players be aggressive on defense, because there is size in the paint, size on every perimeter position and Josh Smith is an anomaly in blocking shots while playing the wing position.

The biggest "step up" should be efficiency, not volume. This is why I want Horford at the 4 and Smith at the wing. If the Atlanta Hawks run the same lineup format as last year they will be no closer to the title than last year.

The 28% usage rate for Josh Smith is too high as evidenced by .500% true shooting. Yes Josh Smith shot worse than Janero Pargo while using 28% of the offense. His defensive rate was Hall of Fame worthy, and he can keep the opposition scoring down from both forward spots, but the offense is killing you.

But this is the lineup that:

-tones down the volume of long range Josh jumpers

- and makes the defense work a little bit more.

* It lets Teague be the primary mismatch on offense, meaning he has the ball more, in 1-5 PnR he can set the tables

* it makes Al Horford the primary recipient of jumpers at the elbow.

* It makes Josh Smith defer, here he has 2 open shooters in Joe (Morrow/Jenkins) to his left and Horford at the right elbow.

The Power Forward Position is for Shooting Jumpers

* As a PF Josh has a limited handle and is shorter than Al so he tends to stand further than Al to get a clean shot. Meaning he's wide open for a large volume of shots, but they're bad percentage shots. Even worse, according to hoopdata, he's worse going inside. So his best option is long range bombs as a PF/

Hopefully, this lineup raises eyebrows and percentages and we see a more balanced Hawks lineup and more balanced coaching (offense, defense, personnel) and a more balanced team.


I know the lineup is still in flux but How would you like to see the offense divvied up?

A FanPost expresses the opinion of the community member who wrote it and not that of the blog management.

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