Go To:

Season Ticket Priority Wait List

X Learn More Secure your seats as soon as they become available.
Learn More

David Lee just wanted a fact check on the team’s record when the starting five of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Lee and Andrew Bogut is intact. What he got instead, crickets from the gathering media, inspired a hashtag, #FullSquad, in reference to the team’s success with a healthy five.

Just how good has the #FullSquad been? The answer Lee was looking for, updated through Friday’s win over the Celtics, is 20-4. Since the NBA began tracking starters in 1970-71, the Warriors have never had a starting unit (minimum 20 games played) win more than 80 percent of its games. In fact the #FullSquad’s winning percentage through 24 games (83.3 percent) is nearly 10 percent better than the lineup of Rick Barry, Charles Johnson, Clifford Ray, Phil Smith and Jamal Wilkes of the defending champion Warriors in 1975-76.

GSW'S BEST STARTING FIVES SINCE 1970-71
Starting 5
Season
W-L
Win %
Bogut/Curry/Iguodala/Lee/Thompson
2013-14
20-4
.833
Barry/Johnson/Ray/Smith/Wilkes
1975-76
58-21
.734
Alexander/Hardaway/Hill/Mullin/Owens
1991-92
19-7
.731
Barnett/Lee/Mullins/Russell/Thurmond
1971-72
25-10
.714
Hardaway/Lister/Mullin/Richmond/Tolbert
1990-91
17-8
.680

Whether this current group can sustain that success over the course of the season—the ’75-76 squad went 58-21 (.734) through 79 games—remains to be seen. Either way, this #FullSquad phenomenon warrants a closer statistical look.

HANDS DOWN WITH MAN DOWN
After starting 8-3 (one loss without Curry), the Warriors endured 14-straight games without either Curry, Iguodala or Bogut (who missed one game with a suspension), posting a 5-9 mark over that span. With the #FullSquad back in action, the Warriors have won 12 of their last 14 games. Aside from the obvious—the Warriors are 20-4 with their preferred five-man unit and just 5-10 without—the stat differential in games played with a #FullSquad as compared to its other starting lineups is staggering, especially defensively.

Golden State allows nearly six fewer points per game (96.1 compared to 101.9) when fielding a healthy five, holding opponents to 42.1 percent from the field and 31.9 percent from distance. Those numbers jump up to 44.3 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from outside when the Warriors are missing one of their key cogs. Offensively, the Warriors score 5.2 more points (105.3 compared to 100.1) with the #FullSquad and shoot 2.5 percent better (47.3 to 44.8) themselves.

In 24 games together, they’ve held opponents below 100 points 15 times and below 40 percent from the field 11 times, both of which they accomplished less than a quarter of the time when missing a piece.

The Warriors currently rank fourth in the NBA in defensive rating, allowing 98.5 points per 100 possessions. (photo: Mike Lawrie/NBAE/Getty)

FIVE ON FIRE
More specifically, when the full five-man unit is on the floor at the same time together, the Warriors have shot the lights out, to the tune of 52.6 percent from the field and 47.2 percent from three-point range. Both of those percentages are the best in the league among five-man units that have logged at least 10 minutes per game through a minimum of 20 contests. Applying those same minimums, the field goal percentage of the #FullSquad’s opponents (43.2 percent) is the second-lowest among five-man combinations, while the three-point percentage (34.3 percent) ranks seventh-lowest. Their offensive rating when on the floor together is a ridiculous 117.8, tops in the league, and their defensive rating of 97.1 ranks second best, for an overall league-leading net rating of 20.6.

PLUS/MINUS REPORT
Despite playing 15 fewer games together than most preferred lineups around the league, the #FullSquad leads the NBA in total plus/minus with a +186, nearly 30 points better than Indiana’s best five-man unit of Paul George, Roy Hibbert, George Hill, Lance Stephenson and David West (+158). The plus/minus is even more telling when looked at on a per game basis. The #FullSquad’s +7.8 per game leads all five-man units, nearly three points more than the next-best lineup (min. 20 games), a +4.9 belonging to the aforementioned Pacers combo.

NBA'S TOP 2013-14 FIVE-MAN LINEUPS BY +/- (min. 20 games)
FIVE-MAN LINEUP
TEAM
G
MIN
FG%
3FG%
+/-
Bogut/Curry/Iguodala/Lee/Thompson
GSW
24
19.1
52.6%
47.2%
7.8
Paul/Hibbert/Hill/Stephenson/West
IND
32
19.9
47.8%
39.4%
4.9
Brewer/Love/Martin/Pekovic/Ricky
MIN
34
22.5
46.6%
39.3%
4.5
Aldridge/Batum/Lillard/Lopez/Matthews
POR
37
20.1
46.4%
40.2%
3.9

HISTORICAL CONTEXT
Through 24 games, there’s a large enough sample size to begin comparing this unit to that of Al Attles’ squad in 1975-76, but again, time will tell if the #FullSquad can continue at its torrid pace and oust the combination of Barry, Johnson, Ray, Smith and Wilkes as the team’s best starting five in recorded history (since 1970-71). That group included two All-NBA selections in Barry (First Team) and Smith (Second Team) and two All-NBA Defensive Second Team honorees in Wilkes and Smith.

Fresh off winning the team’s only championship of its West Coast Era in 1974-75, the Warriors won a franchise-best 59 games in ’75-76, with their consistent starters lining up for all but three of those games (they were 1-2 without the full five). Boasting the NBA’s best record, the Warriors made it back to the Western Conference Finals, but fell to Phoenix in seven games. The Warriors haven’t been back to the conference finals since.

The #FullSquad version of the Warriors has already matched one crowning achievement of that defending-champion team with a 10-game win streak, tied for the second-longest streak in club annals. No doubt their sights are set on greater things to come.

comments powered by Disqus