Top Wizards 5-Man Lineups: One-Third of The Season Is Over Edition | Truth About It.net

Top Wizards 5-Man Lineups: One-Third of The Season Is Over Edition

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Updated: February 3, 2012

Twenty-two games, one-third of the season, is over for the Washington Wizards. To say the least, it’s been tough on this rebuilding team. And to stress that “team” part, let’s see which combination of players has been working the best together, and which combinations haven’t.

According to BasketballValue.com, 177 different five-man units have seen action for the Washington Wizards this season. 177 sounds like a lot, but only 54 of those units have seen more than five minutes of court time together, so this post/results will focus on those, i.e., no need to include units such as John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Roger Mason, Rashard Lewis and Jan Vesely, who have seen a total of 0.03 minutes on the court together.

Five units have seen 31.75-percent of the total action. Those five units are:

  1. Wall – Young – Lewis – Blatche – McGee (10.44% of court time, 110.25 minutes)
  2. Wall – Young – Singleton – Booker – McGee (7.1%, 74.97)
  3. Wall – Young – Singleton – Blatche – McGee (5.81%, 61.37)
  4. Wall – Young – Lewis – Vesely – McGee (4.46%, 47.1)
  5. Wall – Crawford – Lewis – Blatche – McGee (3.93%, 41.55)

Of those 54 “five minutes or more” lineups, these are the top five in Offensive Rating (an estimation of points scored per 100 possesions):

  1. Mack – Crawford – Mason – Lewis – Seraphin (158.82 Off Rtg; 9.58 minutes)
  2. Mack – Young – Singleton – Booker – Seraphin (140; 5.27)
  3. Wall – Crawford – Young – Vesely – Blatche (137.5; 8.28)
  4. Mack – Young – Singleton – Booker – Turiaf (136.36; 6.07)
  5. Wall – Young – Booker – Lewis – Seraphin (136.36; 5.62)

What is obvious and curious here is that Shelvin Mack, not John Wall, leads three of the top five most productive offensive units; JaVale McGee is not in sight. Worth noting, the unit ranked sixth in productive offense includes Wall, Crawford, Young, Booker and McGee (135.29 Off Rtg; 18.08 minutes).

The worst offense… These six units provide the least amount of points per 100 possessions:

  1. Wall – Crawford – Young – Blatche – McGee (53.33 Off Rtg; 7.8 minutes)
  2. Wall – Young – Lewis – Vesely – Blatche (58.82; 7.38)
  3. Mack – Crawford – Singleton – Vesely – Blatche (61.54; 6.2)
  4. Wall – Crawford – Singleton – Booker – McGee (62.5; 12.5)
  5. Wall – Crawford – Booker – Lewis – Blatche (63.64; 5.98)
  6. Wall – Mason – Young – Booker – McGee (63.64; 11.08)

Note: Units 5 and 6 tied in Offensive Rating; John Wall is heavily present here, as is Andray Blatche. 

What about defense? These are the top five best defensive units (ranked by Defensive Rating, the estimated number of points allowed per 100 possessions):

  1. Wall – Crawford – Young – Vesely – McGee (50 Def Rtg; 7.9 minutes)
  2. Wall – Crawford – Booker – Lewis – Seraphin (54.55; 6.47)
  3. Wall – Young – Lewis – Blatche – Seraphin (57.14; 6.87)
  4. Wall – Young – Lewis – Turiaf – Blatche (62.5; 6.83)
  5. Mack – Young – Singleton – Booker – Seraphin (66.67; 5.27)

Wall is in four of these five defensive lineups? Yes, Nick Young is in four too. Also notice that Kevin Seraphin and Rashard Lewis are involved in three each; JaVale McGee appears just once on the Wizards’ top defensive squads.

Defense… the worst lineups:

  1. Wall – Crawford – Young – Blatche – McGee (150 Def Rtg; 7.8 minutes)
  2. Wall – Crawford – Lewis – Turiaf – Blatche (150; 5.92)
  3. Wall – Young – Singleton – Lewis – Turiaf (146.15; 5.52)
  4. Mack – Crawford – Mason – Vesely – Seraphin (138.46; 6.38)
  5. Mack – Crawford – Young – Booker – McGee (136.36; 5.8)

Hello, Jordan Crawford…

HOWEVER, since this is not some silly sport like football (just kidding football, I love you… although I’m still considering boycotting the Super Bowl because I dislike both teams that much… another convo) with specialists playing just one side of the ball, and since often in basketball, good defense can lead to g0od offense, let’s take a look a look at which lineups (within the pool of 54) play the best combination of basketball (Offensive Rating minus Defensive Rating):

  1. Mack – Young – Singleton – Booker – Seraphin (140 Off Rtg, 66.67 Def Rtg; Net = +73.33)
  2. Wall – Crawford – Young – Vesely – McGee (106.67 Off, 50 Def; Net = +56.67)
  3. Wall – Crawford – Booker – Lewis – Seraphin (107.69 Off, 54.55 Def; Net = +53.15)
  4. Wall – Young – Lewis – Blatche – Seraphin (106.67 Off, 57.14 Def; Net = +49.52)
  5. Wall – Crawford – Young – Booker – Seraphin (127.27 Off, 81.82 Def; Net = +45.45)

Wall is around, Young is in four lineups, Crawford is in two (two units feature the Wall/Crawford/Young three-guard lineup), and Seraphin holds down the center position in four of the units, JaVale McGee just one.

The worst units, in totality:

  1. Wall – Crawford – Young – Blatche – McGee (53.33 Off Rtg, 150 Def Rtg; Net = -96.67)
  2. Wall – Young – Singleton – Lewis – Turiaf (71.43 Off, 146.15 Def; Net = -74.73)
  3. Wall – Crawford – Singleton – Booker – McGee (62.5 Off, 130.44 Def; Net = -67.93
  4. Mack – Crawford – Mason – Vesely – Seraphin (76.92 Off, 138.46 Def; Net = -61.54)
  5. Mack – Crawford – Young – Booker – McGee (76.92 Off, 136.36 Def; Net = -59.44)

Crawford, McGee, Young and Wall are the most prevalent amongst these units (and those guys do play a lot, so….).

What does this all mean? It depends. Some people put a ton of stock in plus/minus numbers from various perspectives. The sample size of 22 games, one-third of a lockout-shortened season, could be too small (although probably enough to give a loo-see). Other important factors hide behind the curtain of these numbers… Which units may have seen better competition, compared to those that got run versus the Bobcats. To note, the Wizards have played the 12th toughest schedule according to Basketball-Reference.com. Also, the numbers behind BasketballValue’s “1 Year Adj. +/- (Adjusted Plus-Minus)” which goes to account for “both the teammates and the opponents on the floor” only reflects data for the top ten Wizards lineups in minutes. Also, there’s been a coaching change which seems to have mixed things up quite a bit.

Nonetheless, interesting fodder, don’t you think?


  • Finnigan

    I think this just backs up what we all are seeing on the floor: That none of the Wizards starters are good “team” players. Leaving questionable talent issues aside, it is painfully obvious from the W/Ls, the traditional stats, and now these metrics that Wall, Crawford, Young, Blatche and especially McGee are not very good at the sport of basketball. The sport requires a team effort, and this team is a bunch of one-on-one players. Be it low basketball IQs or attitude problems that cause this lack of “team” ball (again also a lack of talent is to blame), but this team needs a serious overhaul in the off-season.

  • worldwizards

    Interesting stat. John is our franchise player and #1 pick. The team will only be as good as how much he improves.
    We need to find new frontcourt players. McGee is not doing well, and the team has the worse offense when Dray in the lineup.
    Don’t know what to make up of the backcounts, Wall, Young, Crawford all appear in the best and worst net lineups. Or this explains why the team is having a 4-20 record now.

  • AjFromTheDMV

    Once John Wall becomes a consistent player we will be straight.

  • Jake

    It’s shocking to me that Seraphin appears to be so effective. Although, I guess maybe JaVale is just that bad of a team player…