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Best NBA Trios

By Daniel Strickland on February 2, 2008.

82games looks at the best NBA trios and comes up with some interesting results.

We’ve been compiling stats for years now looking at how teams have performed with specific players on the court: individual player plus/minus and on court versus off court, five man units, and yes, even player pairs.

Inevitably people ask about the remaining combinations — player Trios (also known as Triads or the more problematic “threesomes”) and even the Quads/Quartets.

Given the notion in some quarters that an NBA offense can be a three man game in some circumstances, the player trios seem to be an interesting area of study.

So for this initial look we’ll just size up the leading trio and worst trio per team in net +/- and our NBA friends can request the full data if they want to see it. Please note that these numbers are in raw form and have not been adjusted for the other players in the five-man unit, nor for the opposing 5-man unit on the floor at the same time.

It’s no surprise that the best Spurs trio is Parker, Ginobili and Duncan with a +/- of +135 in 481 minutes. Our big three rank 12th in +/- and 16th in minutes. It’s no mystery then that the Spurs are struggling.

The league wide top trios show just how good the Celtics are. Out of the top 25 trios, Boston has ten of the best. The Suns and Hornets each have five.

As for the worst player trio on the Spurs, I’ll give you a hint: it includes an Argentine, a former Maverick and our new starting point guard, at least while Tony rehabs.

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