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Portland is off to a hot start, and I've heard a number of possible reasons why. One factor that I have not heard discussed is that the team's core is benefitting from a ton of playing time together last season. Portland's starting five last season was the 3rd most used lineup in the NBA, logging over 1000 minutes. (#1 and #2 belonged to OKC and IND, who are also off to good starts). Portland did swap Hickson for R. Lopez, but the move hasn't seemed to disrupt the unit's chemistry.

More of my thoughts on this topic can be found at

http://www.basketballanalyticsbook.com/2013/12/01/lineup-entropy-and-early-season-success/
 
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