The Washington Wizards played a total of six lineups more than 19 games in the 2017-17 NBA season. Some lineups worked much better than others.
In the modern NBA, having a lineup for every type of scenario is crucial. Since the Golden State Warriors started their reign of terror in the league, many teams have started to shift to smaller lineups, eliminating post-up play and traditional big men for crunch-time lineups.
The NBA has started a phase with an emphasis on efficient scoring, caring more about three-point percentage and shots at the rim than midrangers and post moves. In this new era of the NBA, it’s interesting to see what a team’s best and worst lineups are over an entire season. This shows exactly what type of personnel is on the court for the most successful box score numbers.
Below is the best lineup (based off of plus/minus) the Washington Wizards played more than 19 regular season games:
Lineup: cheap jerseys John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat (+3.4 plus/minus) There’s not much surprise here. The Wizards were a pretty solid team in the 2016-17 NBA season, so it makes sense their starting lineup would be their best combination. In an NBA where lineups are getting smaller and smaller, Marcin Gortat is still the best option to protect the rim and rebound for Washington.
But what might be more interesting is to take a look at the other five lineups the Washington Wizards frequented this year:
Lineup 1: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Kelly Oubre Jr., Marcin Gortat (+2.2 plus/minus) Lineup 2: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Kelly Oubre Jr., Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat (+0.2 plus/minus) Lineup 3: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Kelly Oubre Jr., Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris (-0.1 plus/minus) Lineup 4: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris, Jason Smith (-1.0 plus/minus) Lineup 5: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Jason Smith, Marcin Gortat (-1.3 plus/minus) There are a couple of key takeaways from these numbers. The first one and probably most obvious is that John Wall and Bradley Beal are in every single one of these lineups. This just shows that those two are very much at the center of everything the Washington Wizards do.
The second takeaway, and the most alarming one, is that the Wizards only have two commonly used lineups from the entire NBA 2016-17 season with a plus/minus of more than 1.0. For reference, the Golden State Warriors have seven lineups that are all net positive last season. This snapshot at lineups just shows how a lack of depth is extremely detrimental to Washington. If the Wizards are unable to field more than two lineup combinations for extended periods of time, they will be in huge trouble come playoff time.
Hopefully the signings of Tim Frazier, Jodie Meeks and Mike Scott will give the Wizards more flexibility in their lineups, allowing John Wall and Bradley Beal to rest on the bench without their team crumbling around them.
The third takeaway is that the Wizards have tried to use a small-ball lineup and haven’t really figured it out yet. Lineup 3 consists of two guards and three forwards, using no traditional big man. The problem is, the lineup was a net negative for the team.
What the Warriors have (and other teams have that have succeeded with small ball lineups), is a bunch of wing forwards who can guard multiple positions. The reason the Wizards’ small-ball lineup isn’t working is most likely because Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr. aren’t able to guard multiple positions yet. If those two can work on their defensive game and hold their own against opponents both smaller and bigger than them, the Wizards may have the makings of a fantastic small-ball lineup, but until then, keep the Polish Hammer Marcin Gortat on the court…please.
JaVale McGee and the Golden State Warriors have agreed to a one-year deal at the veteran minimum, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes. It’s an enormous bargain for the Warriors, who turned McGee into a reliable role player in one of the best seasons of his career last year.
McGee might have been able to sign a more lucrative deal elsewhere, but it appeared that no one pursued him with serious money this summer. If they did, at least no one caught wind of it. The 29-year-old big man has made more than $53 million in his career, after all, though his long wait to re-sign seems to indicate that he was holding out for other offers. Still, getting McGee back for the minimum — really the only option the Warriors had — is an excellent return on investment for general manager Joe Lacob.
Last season, McGee averaged six points and three rebounds in 77 games while averaging only 10 minutes per game. His 65 percent field goal percentage, highest of his career, tells an even clearer story. McGee has a long list of weaknesses, most of them involving mental lapses and ill-advised decisions. But in Golden State, McGee was as consistent as he has ever been, and the Warriors accentuated his strengths to the extent that it covered up much of his weaknesses.
McGee’s athleticism and “vertical spacing,” as Steve Kerr likes to call it, cheap nba jerseys authentic is perfect for Golden State. Just like defenses fear its shooters, they can’t cheat too far out to the wings or a rolling McGee will dunk all over them. Teams routinely screw this up because it’s almost impossible not to.
The joke’s on us for thinking off-season acquisitions were (basically) over in the NBA.
Kyrie Irving made sure wholesale nba jerseys of it.
Irving sent the NBA into a tizzy last week after word leaked out that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ star point guard requested a trade in a meeting with team owner and Detroit native Dan Gilbert.
There’s no doubt Irving is one of the game’s best scorers, and the Pistons are in need of a player of his caliber to carry the franchise back to the playoffs and beyond. But money and talent drive the NBA, which is why it’s unrealistic to think Irving will land in Detroit.
Irving, whose game-clinching three-pointer helped the Cavaliers stun the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, seems to be looking for a chance to be the top offensive player or at least share the spotlight.
He could check either of those boxes with the Pistons, who have been searching for a star and were in talks with the Indiana Pacers about trading for Paul George before last season’s February trade deadline. Plus, Irving is under contract for two more seasons (with a player option for 2019-20).
Irving averaged a career-best 25.2 points to go with 5.8 assists in 72 regular season games last season, shooting 47.3% from the field (19.7 shots per game) and 40.1% from three-point range.
He replicated his dominance from the 2016 championship run in the 2017 playoffs, posting 25.9 points over 18 games on good efficiency.
A Pistons backcourt of Irving and Avery Bradley would complement each other perfectly with Bradley’s off-ball shooting and cutting, and his All-NBA defense helping to shield Irving. The pair would immediately become one of the best backcourts in the league.
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and new general manager Koby Altman called Kyrie Irving’s reported trade request to the team’s brass several weeks ago a “fluid” situation and would not say cheap jerseys China if they indeed plan to deal the four-time All-Star.
“He’s a core piece of what we’ve done,” Gilbert said at Altman’s introductory news conference Wednesday. “Kyrie is a tremendous player. He has made great contributions to this franchise, and we enjoy him as a player and we’re going to keep this stuff in house in terms of what was said in those meetings, but he continues to be a core piece of who we are and what we do.”
Gilbert and Altman would not even confirm that the trade request occurred, even though it has been widely reported since ESPN’s Brian Windhorst broke the news Friday. When pressed if Irving still would be with the team when training camp for the 2017-18 season opens Sept. 25, Gilbert made it sound like Cleveland plans to hold on to the point guard it drafted with the No. 1 pick in 2011.
“Right now, Kyrie Irving is under contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers for two or three years, depending on the last year,” Gilbert said, referring to the point guard’s player option for 2019-20. “As of now, he’s one of our best players, and sure, we expect him to be in camp.”
Whether it was denial on the part of the Cavs’ decision-makers or simply an optimistic outlook that the relationship between LeBron James and Irving can be salvaged at this point — despite reports of Irving’s desire to grow outside the four-time MVP’s overbearing shadow — they did not reject the notion of James and Irving playing together next season.
“I think a lot of it has been overblown,” Altman said. “I think the people who are in this building every day haven’t seen any of that animosity. This is, along with Kevin Love, this is a group that got us to three straight Finals and won an NBA championship together. They play great together on the floor, and a lot of that I do think is overblown. We haven’t seen a lot of that ‘animosity’ that’s been out there in the media.”
Multiple Cavs players have told ESPN they are hopeful that there is a reconciliation of sorts between James and Irving this summer and the team stays together as currently constructed. Gilbert, who again only would confirm that “several scenarios” were discussed between him, Irving and Irving’s agent, Jeff Wechsler, on July 7, might have unintentionally confirmed the trade request by comparing Irving to Kobe Bryant.
“I think you also have to look at history sometimes,” Gilbert said. “The other Kobe, not this Koby, Kobe Bryant, I think there was a time [in the summer of 2007] he was calling radio stations and saying he was demanding to be traded and won two or three championships after that point. Things happen and you never know. I’m not saying that happens here. The possibilities of what will happen is wide, and it’s not just one path or one track.”
One thing Gilbert would say definitively is that he has confidence in the state of his franchise, despite the past six weeks that have seen the Cavs lose the Finals to the Golden State Warriors in five games; part ways with general manager David Griffin; fail to land Chauncey Billups after courting him for a front-office position; have a trade with the Indiana Pacers for Paul George fall apart at the finish line; and now have to deal with the Irving quandary.
“I believe we’re going to be competing for championships for a long period of time,” Gilbert said. “I really do. And especially this year coming up. And we’re not done yet. We’re not done yet.”
The question hanging over the Cavs, however, is when will James be done with them? The superstar forward can opt out of his contract to become a free agent next summer. Gilbert and Altman painted James as a happy camper.
“LeBron has been as helpful as he’s ever been,” Gilbert said. “He’s active and helped with Derrick Rose, and that’s why Derrick Rose has signed here; and he’s been active, he’s been responsive.
“That hunger is as strong as I’ve ever seen.”
And Altman expressed confidence that the man he deems the “best player in the world” will remain on board with the Cavs.
“LeBron remains deeply committed to this organization,” Altman said. “He remains deeply committed to this team and deeply committed to this city. He has deep roots to this city. And it means a lot to him to be here and compete for championships for years to come. That’s his goal, and so we have shared goals. We have a shared vision.”
During the years treading water in Newark, the Nets talked about Barclays Center as their Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.”
“They” were the top free agents, including Kevin Durant. “You” was/is a billionaire Russian owner who recently taught Stephen Colbert how to throw axes against a dungeon wall.
“We’re not just part of the conversation, we are the conversation,” CEO Brett Yormark told me just before the arena opened in 2013.
Only that’s not what happened. Today, the Nets aren’t part of many conversations. The arena is still very cool. The practice facility boasts a spectacular view of the NYC skyline. But the franchise is still treading water, hoping for much better days. No top free agents are seriously considering the Nets, the worst team in the NBA last season. As the landscape of the league changed — with access for fans reaching all over the world — the change in market from Newark to Brooklyn meant diddly without a built-in base.
Which leads us to their very unique current plan, spearheaded by GM Sean Marks. Armed with a glut of cap space in his first two summers, Marks went about building a roster using two strategies: overbidding for restricted free agents hoping the other team doesn’t match (that hasn’t worked in three tries), and trading for players on undesirable contracts cheap jerseys (done three times just this offseason).
The latest example of the latter is Allen Crabbe, who was introduced to the media Thursday by the Nets. To Portland, he was a salary dump making too much money (still guaranteed $56 million over the next three years) for very little production (10.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game last season). To Brooklyn, he’s a starting forward who fits their mold (young with shooting range).
“He’ll fit in with guys we currently have on the roster. It’ll open the floor up. Hopefully, it’ll be a fun brand of basketball to watch,” Marks said Thursday.
Just don’t get too excited, apparently. “I’m not really, to be honest, focused on the playoffs,” Marks said. “We’re obviously making steps in a direction that hopefully everybody can see. We are going younger. We’ve got a youth movement here.”
At this stage, it’s hard to judge Marks and his ambitious plan. In one season at the helm, he put together a team that won 20 games without control of its own draft pick. Anybody could do that as long as the owner is on board. People who’ve worked with Mikhail Prokhorov wonder if he’ll lose patience with the losing, and then revert to what he’s always done when the going gets tough: fire the coach. But as of right now, the Russian ownership hasn’t set any mandates and Prokhorov has stepped away from the spotlight, except for a TV appearance with Colbert and continued rumors that he’ll sell controlling interest of the Nets.
Marks, unlike Billy King before him, is enjoying an interference-free rebuild.
His misses on the job include letting go of Yogi Ferrell in the middle of last season, just before the guard blossomed into an intriguing prospect with the Mavericks. He also balked last summer at signing Dion Waiters, who then emerged as a top scorer with the Heat. Marks has three players on the roster — Crabbe, Timofey Mozgov and DeMarre Carroll — who own contracts that have far exceeded their basketball production.
Much of the GM’s success will be determined by D’Angelo Russell, the young and talented guard he acquired for Brook Lopez. Russell has a reputation of being an entitled diva, but there are good reasons the 21-year-old was drafted second overall two years ago.
Regardless, Marks deserves credit for this: he hired an excellent coach in Kenny Atkinson and has tried to surround him with players who fit a system predicated on pace, spacing and 3-point shooting. The Nets are like the D-League Warriors.
And to get to this point on the roster, Marks has taken an unconventional route that he wants us to understand is far from his Field of Dreams.
“Are we happy? Sure,” he said. “But I think we know we have a long, long way to go.”