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Sean Grande has a few statistics on Aron Baynes in the tweet below. They seem to indicate that playing Baynes for 20-23 minutes per game results in more wins.

I did my own analysis and found that in the Celtics 40 wins this season, Aron has averaged 19.5 minutes. In the 18 losses, he averages only 15.3 minutes. In the wins, he shot 49.1% from the floor and had a plus/minus of +5.3. For the losses, he is at 36.1% on field goals and a plus/minus of -4.3.


So why does he shoot better, have a positive impact and help produce more wins with more minutes? The low minutes coinciding with the poor shooting may indicate Brad Stevens is yanking him because he isn't hitting his shots. For a center that has difficulty hitting from any distance, we would expect a better finisher at the rim.

So the question with Baynsey is, does the poor shooting result in fewer minutes, or do the low minutes yield poor shooting? A matter of cause and effect. Only Brad Stevens knows the answer for sure. But with the highest defensive rating in the League and indications that increased minutes for Aron could lead to more wins, it may be time for Brad to keep him in there longer.

It may also be time to try some bigger lineups periodically. Stevens doesn't seem to like going too big or too small with his lineups. I would still like to see an occasional triple-tower frontcourt of Baynes at center and Al Horford and Greg Monroe at the forwards. Al can hit from deep and Greg can hit in the low post. On defense, Aron can switch on most players and opponents think twice before driving the lane on him. Al can guard anyone.

At 6'9", Daniel Theis could get into the mix. The NBA is a copycat League. The Warriors Death Lineup, where the shortest guy is 6'3" (Stephen Curry) and the biggest is 6'10"- but moves like 6'3" (Kevin Durant), has other teams over-reacting with their own versions. The Celtics 1985-86 big quartet of Robert Parish, Bill Walton, Kevin McHale and Larry Bird was phenomenal (and won a Championship). The Pelicans had their twin-towers in Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, a very skilled duo admittedly, until Cousins' season-ending injury. The numbers above are far from conclusive. But the triple-tower lineup should be tried once in a while. It may surprise us with more wins.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Christopher Evans/Boston Herald

Tom Lane 2/13/2018 01:43:00 PM Edit
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