The Wizards' Starting Lineup Has Been Great in the Playoffs
In recent days, we've heard a lot of talk about the Golden State Warriors' successful lineups. In particular, people have been discussing the effectiveness of the mega-death lineup, made up of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.
According to NBA.com, that lineup has a net rating (points minus opponent points per 100 possessions) of plus-12.2 in 29 minutes together during these playoffs. Not bad at all, but probably less than what people would have expected after Golden State virtually exchanged Harrison Barnes for Durant.
Of the 14 five-man squads to play in at least five games and across more than 50 minutes in this year's playoffs, the Warriors' starting lineup -- not their mega-death lineup -- has been the best of them all. With a net rating of plus-34.9, they're the only primary lineup outscoring their opponents by at least 30 points per 100 possessions when taking the floor.
Who's number two? Is it the Cleveland Cavaliers' starters? What about the Houston Rockets? No -- as you probably guessed from the title -- it's the Wizards' starting lineup of John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat.
The fact that Washington's starters have played the most minutes (175) of any of these lineups makes this feat even more impressive. They've appeared together for 107 more minutes than Golden State's usual starters, all the while maintaining elite production and efficiency.
|Net Rating||Off. Rating||Def. Rating|
|Thru 10 Games||+27.0||117.5||90.5|
Of qualified lineups, this one has been the single best defensive team to this point in the playoffs. Meanwhile, they're third behind the Rockets' bench lineup and the Warriors' starters in terms of offensive efficiency.
Breaking it down further, the Wizards' main lineup is among the top five in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.62), offensive rebounding rate (27.7%) and total rebounding rate (55.1%). In addition, they have produced a playoff-leading 43.4 points per game on 49.3% shooting from the floor, 37.8% from three and 84.6% from the charity stripe.
With an inconsistent bench, coach Scott Brooks has had to lean heavily on a starting lineup which is among the best in the league. That could be cause for concern as the minutes rack up, but it's just the reality of what the team has to do to win.
|Wizards Starters||Points||Team Points||Percentage of Team Pts|
|In 6 Wins||45.3||113.0||40.1%|
|In 4 Losses||40.5||107.3||37.7%|
They've been particularly reliant on their first team in their series with the Boston Celtics. Their net rating of plus-39 in the first quarter and net rating of minus-15.8 in the second says as much.
Entering tonight's Game 5, the Wizards will need to ride their starters and get off to another good start if they hope to take the 3-2 advantage back to D.C. In the meantime, they'll be fighting the odds as our algorithms give the home Celtics a 69% chance of winning Game 5 and a 59.97% of advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.