Archetype History On Winning Teams

I assume if you have found your way here you are likely familiar with the archetype series. Like any draft tool it is far from perfect, and is best used with context. The goal here is to identify valuable skills and roles by position that contribute to winning basketball via both subjective and objective “cluster” analysis. As you can understand this process necessitates subjectivity on my part, as an extension of the eye-test (at least in part)

The following charts out what archetypes have been the primary high minute players on winning teams (usually starters but I included impact bench/de-facto starting caliber players like Andre Iguodala). I encapsulated three different winning benchmarks: 1) Finals appearances 2) Conference Finals appearances and 3) teams with a top 6 point differential during the regular season. I did not double count in the charting, so a team who made the Finals was not included in the Conference Finals and point differential sections. I’m trying to get at the cream of the crop here, at least for now, but that has the ramification of seeing the same organizations multiple times over.

These charts shouldn’t be taken as gospel. We’re in a basketball age of two great outliers: a top 2 player in NBA history making the Finals 5 straight times and one of the greatest teams ever assembled over the last two years. That’s going to impact the kinds of players that show up here. Guys like Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier complimented LeBron James and Dwyane Wade exceptionally well. That can tell us something, but basically any team with LeBron on it is going to skew information.

This sample only takes into account the last 5 Finals /Conference Finals (starting in 2012) and the last 4 regular seasons (not including the regular season lockout), so it’s not extensive. I was trying to align the time period with the NBA’s transition to the pace and space era. Certain teams and their personnel certainly don’t translate cleanly to this framework. Roy Hibbert was a pretty good player in 2012, but the game has passed him by in the last few years. He doesn’t really fit my archetypes (ditto for Randolph), but I included him the best way he translated at the time. That last point is key. I tried to contextualize each archetype categorization with the player at the time. Thus, Kawhi is clearly a category 2 wing now, but was a category 5 wing during the Spurs’ early title runs. That is reflected in the analysis (I gave him Category 2 status upon earning Finals MVP, which agai is somewhat arbitrary).

Overall, I plan on doing much more with this information in the future. Just because an archetype is prevalent in a section doesn’t mean that position/role is more valuable. For instance, 3 of the 6 appearances on point differential for category 8 wings are Jamal Crawford, and he’s a very divisive 6th man. This is basically “raw data”, but I think it can provide utility especially when linked back to the archetype descriptions.

I included a team log on the latter half of the page that shows the primary contributors to team by year within each of the three sections (Finals, Conference Finals, Point Differential), which hopefully provides some context. I enjoy feedback, so please do not hesitate to chime in (I also starred some things I’m unsure about).

Lead Guards

TR1.png

Category 1: Generational Two-Way Scheme-Changers (Prototype: Chris Paul)

Finals

Stephen Curry (2X)

Conference Finals

Point Differential

Chris Paul (4X

Category 2: Outlier Athleticism/Tools (Prototype: Russell Westbrook)

Finals

Russell Westbrook

Conference Finals

Russell Westbrook (2X)

Point Differential

Russell Westbrook

Category 3: Offensive Scheme-Changers (Prototype: Damian Lillard)

Finals

Kyrie Irving (2X)

Conference Finals

James Harden

Point Differential

James Harden

Damian Lillard

Category 4: Two-Way Skilled + Shooting Threats (Prototype: Kyle Lowry)

 Finals

 Conference Finals

Mike Conley

Kyle Lowry

Point Differential

Category 5: Defensive Tools + Non-Shooters (Prototype: Ricky Rubio)

Finals

Conference Finals

Rajon Rondo

Point Differential

Category 6: Dribble-Drivers (Prototype: Goran Dragic)

Finals

Tony Parker (2X)

Conference Finals

Tony Parker

Jeff Teague

Reggie Jackson

*Cory Joseph

Point Differential

Tony Parker (2X)

Ty Lawson

Raymond Felton

Jeremy Lin

Category 7: 3&D Plus Initiation (Prototype: George Hill)

Finals

Mario Chalmers (3X)

Conference Finals

George Hill (2X)

Patrick Beverley

Point Differential

Patrick Beverley

Wings

TB3.png

Category 1: Two-Way Primary Initiators (Prototype: LeBron James)

Finals

LeBron James: (5X)

Conference Finals

 Top 6 Regular Season Point Differential

Category 2: Primary Scorers/Self Creators (Prototype: Kevin Durant) 

Finals:

Dwyane Wade (3X)

Kevin Durant

Kawhi Leonard 

Conference Finals

Paul George (2X)

Kevin Durant (2X)

Paul Pierce

Point Differential

Kawhi Leonard (2X)

Kevin Durant

Carmelo Anthony

Category 3: Two-Way Swiss Army Knife Playmakers (Prototype: Gordon Hayward) 

Finals

Andre Iguodala (2X)

Conference Finals

Point Differential

Andre Iguodala (2X)

Nicolas Batum

Category 4: 3&D Plus (Prototype: Klay Thompson)

Finals

Klay Thompson (2X)

J.R. Smith (2X)

Conference Finals

Point Differential

Klay Thompson

Wesley Matthews

Category 5: 3&D Versatile (Prototype: Jae Crowder)

Finals

Shane Battier (2X)

Kawhi Leonard

Conference Finals

DeMarre Carroll (2X)

Kawhi Leonard

Trevor Ariza

Point Differential

Wilson Chandler

Category 6: 3&D Perimeter/Point of Attack (Prototype: Danny Green)

Finals

Danny Green (2X)

Conference Finals

Danny Green

Top 6 Regular Season Point Differential

Danny Green (2X)

Iman Shumpert

Category 7: Two-Way Secondary Handlers (Prototype: Avery Bradley)

 Finals

 Conference Finals

Lance Stephenson (2X)

Point Differential

Category 8: Offensive/Scoring Secondary Handlers (Prototype: CJ McCollum)

Finals

James Harden

Conference Finals

DeMarre DeRozan

*Dion Waiters

 Point Differential

Jamal Crawford (4X)

Kevin Martin

J.R. Smith

Category 9: Defensive Versatile (Prototype: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist)

Finals

Thabo Sefolosha

Conference Finals

Thabo Sefolosha

Tayshaun Prince

Tony Allen

Andre Roberson 

Point Differential

Thabo Sefolosha

Category 10: Offensive Skilled Combo-Forwards (Prototype: Danilo Gallinari)

Finals

Conference Finals

Point Differential

Danilo Gallinari

Chandler Parsons 

Category 11: Wing Fours (Prototype: Harrison Barnes)

Finals

Harrison Barnes (2X)

Conference Finals

Point Differential

Matt Barnes (3X)

Harrison Barnes

Jeff Green

Category 12: 1 Position Defenders + 1 Skill Shooters (Prototype: JJ Redick)

Finals

Ray Allen (2X)

Conference Finals

Ray Allen

Kyle Korver 

Point Differential

J.J. Redick (2X)

Fours

LB3.png

Category 1: Two-Way Playmakers (Prototype: Draymond Green)

Finals

Boris Diaw (2X)

Draymond Green (2X) 

Conference Finals

*David West (2X)

Boris Diaw

Zach Randolph

Paul Millsap

Point Differential

Blake Griffin (4X)

Boris Diaw

Category 2: Offensive Playmakers (Prototype: Kevin Love)

Finals

Kevin Love (2X)

Conference Finals

Point Differential

Category 3: Skilled + Stretch (Prototype: Patrick Patterson)

Finals

Conference Finals

Patrick Patterson

Top 6 Regular Season Point Differential

Category 4: Face Up Handlers With Low Defense/Feel Floors (Prototype: Markieff Morris)

Category 5: Energy + Motor (Prototype: Kenneth Faried)

Finals 

Conference Finals

Brandon Bass

Point Differential

Kenneth Faried

David Lee

Fives

TB6.png

Category 1: Two-Way Playmakers (Prototype: Karl Towns) 

 Finals

Tim Duncan (2X) 

Conference Finals

Kevin Garnett

Tim Duncan

Marc Gasol

Al Horford

*Roy Hibbert

Point Differential

LaMarcus Aldridge (2X)

Tim Duncan

Category 2: Outlier Athleticism/Tools (Prototype: Anthony Davis)

Finals

Conference Finals

Dwight Howard

Steven Adams

Point Differential

DeAndre Jordan (4X)

Tyson Chandler

Dwight Howard

Category 3: Unicorns (Prototype: Kristaps Porzingis) 

Finals

Chris Bosh (3X)

Serge Ibaka

Conference Finals

Serge Ibaka (2X) 

Point Differential

Serge Ibaka

Category 4: Defense + Passing/Non-Scorers (Prototype: Joakim Noah)

Finals

Andrew Bogut (2X)

Conference Finals 

Point Differential

Andrew Bogut

Category 5: Defense + Energy/Lob Catchers (Prototype: Tristan Thompson)

Finals

Tristan Thompson (X2)

*Timofey Mozgov 

Conference Finals

*Bismack Biyombo

Point Differential

Category 6: Traditional Offensive Bucket-Getters (Prototype: Brook Lopez)

Finals

Conference Finals

Jonas Valanciunus

*Enes Kanter

Point Differential

TEAM LOG

NBA Finals

2011-12

Miami Heat:

LeBron James: Category 1 Wing

Dwyane Wade: Category 1-2 Wing

Chris Bosh: Category 3 Five

Mario Chalmers: Category 7 Lead Guard

Shane Battier: Category 5 Wing

Oklahoma City:

Kevin Durant: Category 2 Wing

Russell Westbrook: Category 2 Lead Guard

James Harden: Category 8 wing

Serge Ibaka: Category 3 Five

Thabo Sefolosha: Category 9 Wing

2012-13

San Antonio Spurs:

Tony Parker: Category 6 Lead Guard

Tim Duncan: Category 1 Five

Manu Ginobili: Category 1-2 Wing

Kawhi Leonard: Category 5 Wing

Danny Green: Category 6 Wing

Boris Diaw: Category 1 Four

Miami Heat:

LeBron James: Category 1 Wing

Dwyane Wade: Category 1-2 Wing

Chris Bosh: Category 3 Five

Mario Chalmers: Category 7 Lead Guard

Shane Battier: Category 5 Wing

Ray Allen: Category 12 Wing

2013-14

San Antonio Spurs:

Kawhi Leonard: Category 2 Wing

Tony Parker: Category 6 Lead Guard

Tim Duncan: Category 1 Five

Manu Ginobili: Category 1-2 Wing

Danny Green: Category 6 Wing

Boris Diaw: Category 1 Four

Miami Heat:

LeBron James: Category 1 Wing

Dwyane Wade: Category 1-2 Wing

Chris Bosh: Category 3 Five

Mario Chalmers: Category 7 Lead Guard

Ray Allen: Category 12 Wing

2014-15

Cleveland Cavaliers:

LeBron James: Category 1 Wing

Kyrie Irving; Category 3 Lead Guard

Kevin Love: Category 2 Four

Tristan Thompson: Category 5 Five

Timofey Mozgov: Category 5 Five

J.R. Smith: Category 4 Wing

Golden State Warriors:

Stephen Curry: Category 1 Lead Guard

Draymond Green: Category 1 Four

Klay Thompson: Category 4 Wing

Andre Iguodala: Category 3 Wing

Andrew Bogut: Category 4 Five

Harrison Barnes: Category 11 Wing

2015-16

Cleveland Cavaliers:

LeBron James: Category 1 Wing

Kyrie Irving; Category 3 Lead Guard

Kevin Love: Category 2 Four

Tristan Thompson: Category 5 Five

J.R. Smith: Category 4 Wing

Golden State Warriors:

Stephen Curry: Category 1 Lead Guard

Draymond Green: Category 1 Four

Klay Thompson: Category 4 Wing

Andre Iguodala: Category 3 Wing

Andrew Bogut: Category 4 Five

Harrison Barnes: Category 11 Wing

Conference Finals

2011-12

Boston Celtics:

Paul Pierce: Category 2 Wing

Kevin Garnett: Category 1 Five

Ray Allen: Category 12 Wing

Rajon Rondo: Category 5 Lead Guard

Brandon Bass: Category 5 Four

San Antonio Spurs:

Tony Parker: Category 6 Lead Guard

Tim Duncan: Category 1 Five

Manu Ginobili: Category 1-2 Wing

Kawhi Leonard: Category 5 Wing

Boris Diaw: Category 1 Four

Danny Green: Category 6 Wing

2012-13

Indiana Pacers:

Paul George: Category 2 Wing

George Hill: Category 7 Lead Guard

Roy Hibbert: Uncategorized/Category 1 Five

David West: Uncategorized/Category 1 Four

Lance Stephenson: Category 7 Wing

Memphis Grizzlies:

Marc Gasol: Category 1 Five

Mike Conley: Category 4 Lead Guard

Zach Randolph: Uncategorized/Category 1 Four

Tayshaun Prince: Category 9 Wing

Tony Allen: Category 9 Wing

2013-14

Indiana Pacers:

Paul George: Category 2 Wing

George Hill: Category 7 Lead Guard

Roy Hibbert: Uncategorized/Category 1 Five

David West: Uncategorized/Category 1 Four

Lance Stephenson: Category 7 Wing

Oklahoma City Thunder:

Kevin Durant: Category 2 Wing

Russell Westbrook: Category 2 Lead Guard

Serge Ibaka: Category 3 Five

Reggie Jackson: Category 6 Lead Guard

Thabo Sefolosha: Category 9 Wing

2014-15

Atlanta Hawks:

Paul Millsap: Category 1 Four

Al Horford: Category 1 Five

DeMarre Carroll: Category 5 Wing

Kyle Korver: Category 12 Wing

Jeff Teague: Category 6 Lead Guard

Houston Rockets:

James Harden: Category 3 Lead Guard

Dwight Howard: Category 2 Five

Trevor Ariza: Category 5 Wing

Patrick Beverley: Category 7 Lead Guard

Donatas Motiejunas: Category 3 Four

2015-16

Oklahoma City Thunder:

Kevin Durant: Category 2 Wing

Russell Westbrook: Category 2 Lead Guard

Serge Ibaka: Category 3 Five

Andre Roberson: Category 9 Wing

Steven Adams: Category 2 Five

Dion Waiters: Category 8 Wing

Enes Kanter: Category 6 Five

Toronto Raptors:

Kyle Lowry: Category 4 Lead Guard

DeMar DeRozan: Category 8 Wing

DeMarre Carroll: Category 5 Wing

Jonas Valanciunus: Category 6 Five

Patrick Patterson: Category 3 Four

Bismack Biyombo: Category 5 Five

Cory Joseph: Category 6 Lead Guard

Point Differential

2012-13

Oklahoma City Thunder:

Kevin Durant: Category 2 Wing

Russell Westbrook: Category 2 Lead Guard

Serge Ibaka: Category 3 Five

Kevin Martin: Category 8 Wing

Thabo Sefolosha: Category 9 Wing

Los Angeles Clippers:

Chris Paul: Category 1 Lead Guard

Blake Griffin: Category 1 Four

DeAndre Jordan: Category 2 Five

Jamal Crawford: Category 8 Wing

Matt Barnes: Category 11 Wing

New York Knicks:

Carmelo Anthony: Category 2B Wing

Tyson Chandler: Category 2 Five

J.R. Smith: Category 8 Wing

Raymond Felton: Category 6 Lead Guard

Iman Shumpert: Uncategorized/Category 6 Wing

Denver Nuggets:

Andre Iguodala: Category 3 Wing

Ty Lawson: Category 6 Lead Guard

Danilo Gallinari: Category 10 Wing

Kenneth Faried: Category 5 Four

Wilson Chandler: Category 5 Wing

2013-14

Los Angeles Clippers:

Chris Paul: Category 1 Lead Guard

Blake Griffin: Category 1 Four

DeAndre Jordan: Category 2 Five

J.J. Redick: Category 12 Wing

Jamal Crawford: Category 8 Wing

Matt Barnes: Category 11 Wing

Golden State Warriors:

Stephen Curry: Category 1-3 Lead Guard

Klay Thompson: Category 4-12 Wing

Andre Iguodala: Category 3 Wing

Andrew Bogut: Category 4 Five

David Lee: Category 5 Four

Harrison Barnes: Category 11 Wing

Houston Rockets:

James Harden: Category 3 Lead Guard

Chandler Parsons: Category 10 Wing

Dwight Howard: Category 2 Five

Patrick Beverley: Category 7 Lead Guard

Jeremy Lin: Category 6 Lead Guard

2014-15

Los Angeles Clippers:

Chris Paul: Category 1 Lead Guard

Blake Griffin: Category 1 Four

DeAndre Jordan: Category 2 Five

J.J. Redick: Category 12 Wing

Jamal Crawford: Category 8 Wing

Matt Barnes: Category 11 Wing

San Antonio Spurs:

Kawhi Leonard: Category 2 Wing

Tony Parker: Category 6 Lead Guard

Tim Duncan: Category 1 Five

Manu Ginobili: Category 1-2 Wing

Danny Green: Category 6 Wing

Boris Diaw: Category 1 Four

Portland Trail Blazers:

Damian Lillard: Category 3 Lead Guard

LaMarcus Aldridge: Category 1 Five

Nicolas Batum: Category 3 Wing

Wesley Matthews: Category 4 Wing

Robin Lopez: Uncategorized

2015-16

San Antonio Spurs:

Kawhi Leonard: Category 2 Wing

LaMarcus Aldridge: Category 1 Five

Tony Parker: Category 6 Lead Guard

Manu Ginobili: Category 1-2 Wing

Danny Green: Category 6 Wing

*Tim Duncan: Category 1 Five

Los Angeles Clippers:

Chris Paul: Category 1 Lead Guard

Blake Griffin: Category 1 Four

DeAndre Jordan: Category 2 Five

J.J. Redick: Category 12 Wing

Jamal Crawford: Category 8 Wing

Jeff Green: Category 11 Wing

 

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