Back in April, Cavs: The Blog writer Tom Pestak took a ton of time to try and figure out which Cavs two man units were the most effective using plus-minus data for individual players and plus-minus data for two man units. To make some sense of that data, a little math was required. Plus-minus (PM) numbers don’t take into account how many minutes players and lineups played, so it needs to be adjusted to be looked at as a per 48 minute rate. Once that rate is figured out it can be used for all sorts of fun stuff. By comparing players’ expected PM/48 in lineups to their lineup’s actual on the court PM/48, you can see how well the players made magic together. If the numbers match up, then the unit played average, but if the two numbers are drastically different, the unit either under-performed or over-performed.
Tom did this exhaustive exercise for two man units on the Cavs. The conclusion: everything commonly thought was more or less wrong. CJ Miles was a beast, Andy V and Matty D made everyone better, and Kyrie only exceeded an expected PM/48 number when playing with Miles.