FanPost

How Much Do Curry and Green Feed Off of Each Other?

The question recently arose concerning the degree to which Stephen Curry and Draymond Green feed off each other – that is have an output improving synergistic effect (not the same as two snakes feeding off each other by simultaneously eating each other’s tails). I decided to look at a few numbers regarding lineups with and without them, and see what I could grind out. The table below shows my results.

Curry and Green are top players in the NBA, so the team doing well when they are on the floor and better when both are is no surprise. I was surprised, however, by how bad the GSW plus-minus per 48 minutes was when neither Green nor Curry are on the floor, -9.9. Would GSW really lose games by an average of almost 10 points without them? Considerations of garbage time make it hard to be conclusive, but the numbers appear to say GSW would lose a substantial number of games without them. (They are clearly underpaid.)

Regular season

Lineups with

% of time

FGM

/48M

FGA

/48M

FG%

3PM

/48M

3PA

/48M

3P%

PTS

/48M

+/-

/48M

Curry and not Green

5.4%

42.4

94.1

0.451

13.2

35.0

0.377

115.9

6.3

Green and not Curry

8.3%

41.0

84.5

0.485

9.0

23.9

0.375

108.4

9.4

Green and Curry

63.2%

44.3

87.5

0.507

15.6

36.2

0.432

121.4

19.4

Not Curry and not Green

23.1%

36.9

82.7

0.447

7.6

20.2

0.373

95.3

-9.9

I was also a little surprised that the team’s plus-minus was 50% better with Green and not Curry than with Curry and not Green. (However, this is in alignment with their salaries.) Unsurprisingly, the team’s plus-minus is at its highest when both are on the floor. However, the interesting question is how synergistic this is – together, are they more than the sum of the two parts (two players). This is actually a complex question to answer. However, I will do a pair of simplistic but indicative calculations.

The sum of their separate plus-minuses was +15.7 points while the plus-minus with them together was 19.4, 24% more. With Curry and not Green, GSW outscored opponents by a factor of 1.057 (115.9/(115.9-6.3)). Green and not Curry had a factor of 1.095. The product of the two factors is 1.157. This would estimate a plus-minus for the combination of a plus-minus of +16.0. The actual of +19.4 points was 22% more.

These two calculations each suggest a synergistic improvement effect of the combination of Green and Curry on the order of a fifth. Together, these results are consistently positive and large enough to strongly indicate a significant synergistic effect exists although its magnitude is less certain.

ANNEX

Regular Season Totals

Adding up lineup numbers for minutes is a problem because their time on the court is reported in whole minutes, rounding errors can accumulate including from the many lineups playing less than half a minute. The result is underreporting of time. So, in the main table, I provided a percentage of time.

Lineups with

MIN

FGM

FGA

3PM

3PA

PTS

+/-

Curry and not Green

207

183

406

57

151

500

27

Green and not Curry

321

274

565

60

160

725

63

Green and Curry

2437

2251

4443

794

1840

6164

985

Not Curry and not Green

890

685

1533

140

375

1767

-184




This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!