Fadeaway World

The Los Angeles Lakers were just crowned as the 2020 NBA champions after a magical playoff run where they beat the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat. The purple and gold, led by LeBron James dismantled their rivals throughout the playoffs, even the ones that played differently like the Houston Rockets and their daring small-ball lineup.

The size difference was very visible during the series and probably during the rest of the playoffs. As a matter of fact, one Redditor decided to do their research and found out that the Lakers had a big advantage over their rivals in terms of size. According to ‘babyyodavan’, the Lakers had the tallest lineup for an NBA champion since 2003, averaging 6’8″. How did they do it, they went to basketball reference to the heights of all the starters from the championship-winning team and averaged them out.

The most used lineup by the now 17th NBA champions consisted of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (6’5), Danny Green (6’6), LeBron James (6’9), Anthony Davis (6’10) and Dwight Howard (6’10).

In the end, he came out with this data:

  • The Lakers had the tallest starting lineup since the 2003 Spurs and the 10th highest since 1983.
  • The tallest starting lineup to win a Finals is a tie between the 1998 Bulls and the 1987 Lakers
  • The shortest starting lineup to win a Finals is the 2015 Warriors.
  • The graph shows a slight, but evident decrease in the height of winning starting lineups since

Seeing that some teams as the aforementioned Rockets tried to implement the small-ball lineup, what the Lakers did is proof that you don’t have to do all those crazy things to win in the league. As somebody said, this was more a ‘positionless’ team than anything and the results couldn’t be better.