29. The Derrick Rose–Jimmy Butler–Luol Deng–Taj Gibson–Joakim Noah Lineup Will Hold Teams Below 90 Points Per 100 Possessions
I got the shakes just typing those names together. Perspective: The Pacers had the stingiest defense in the league last season, allowing 96.6 points per 100 possessions. The 6.6-point gap between Indy and the magical 90 mark is the equivalent to the space between Indy's no. 1–ranked outfit and Philly's 15th-ranked defense, per NBA.com.
Only eight lineups leaguewide last season logged at least 100 minutes and yielded fewer than 90 points per 100 possessions. Only three such lineups cracked 200 minutes: the Clippers' best bench group, the Spurs' starting lineup (how freaking scary is that!?), and the Memphis starters after the Gay trade. This Chicago group — so long, springy, and downright mean — has a great shot to slip under the 90 mark, even though it figures to see a lot of crunch-time action against opposing starters. I was tempted to call for a sub-85 figure, but that basically doesn't happen.