3 must-use Jabari Smith Jr. lineups for Rockets' Ime Udoka
Lineup #1: Kevin Porter Jr./Jalen Green/Kenyon Martin Jr./Tari Eason/Jabari Smith Jr.
This lineup was almost a no-brainer to me. It was one of 3 lineups with a positive point differential this season (that qualified for rankings on Cleaning the glass leader-boards) and the only one with all players with the current Rockets roster.
With 119 total possessions on the floor, the Houston Rockets managed to squeeze out a +1.6 point differential and it's all thanks to an impressive 105.2 defensive points per 100 possession, which would put the Rockets in the 82nd percentile league wide.
This lineup allows the Houston Rockets to put five players on the court that can switch everything, be aggressive on the ball, get into passing lanes, and play varying schemes.
Posting an insane 19 percent turnover rate defensively (94th percentile league-wide), this lineup will turn teams over and use crazy athletes like Jalen Green, KJ Martin, and Tari Eason to get out in transition.
The lineup's bonkers turnover rate defensively leads to a very good 17.6 percent transition frequency, which would be in the 74th percentile in the league. They are getting alot of transition attempts, but are they converting?
When the Rockets trot this lineup out, they add 5.3 points per 100 possessions through transition plays, which would leave them with a mark in the 76th percentile. Young teams should be aggressive on defense, turn teams over, and get out in transition as often as possible in my opinion, and this was the lineup to do that.
Offensively it leads a lot to be desired, posting a very mediocre 106.7 points per 100 possessions (18th percentile), but there were bright spots that you could take away.
Offensive rebounding and rim attempts/finishing is one of the brightest spots about this lineup. With the constant cutting around and great athletes with size in KPJ, Jalen Green, Tari Eason, and Jabari Smith Jr, the Rockets get to the rim with a frequency that would rank in the 98th percentile (45.6 percent).
Tari and KJ Martin being monster offensive rebounders helped the team have an outstanding 41.5 percent offensive rebounding percentage. That would rank among the top-three in the league.
The team surprisingly takes care of the ball pretty well with these 5 guys out there on the court. posting an impressive 11.8 percent turnover percentage, ranking in the 73rd percentile.
A few areas of concern that could be pointed to with this lineup is shooting accuracy and corner 3 shot frequency. This lineup only ranked in the 42nd percentile in 3-point shot attempts.
If the Rockets want to have a modern offense, they'll almost assuredly need to up these numbers. The Rockets also shot a combined 25 percent from all spots beyond the 3-point line with these five on the floor.
This lineup also shot an abysmal 11 percent on corner 3s. That's a recipe for losing. There are good shooters in theory in the lineup, but they have to convert on these attempts.
Once the shooting comes along from the core guys, a lot of the deficiencies this lineup had will phase out and we'll start to see an actual, competent NBA offense with these five guys on the floor.