The Wizards have the best five-man lineup of any in the NBA seven games into the season. It's made of their starters in that span – John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre and Marcin Gortat.
That group has outscored opponents by 69 points on the floor together, according to the latest stats from Basketball-Reference.com.
Note that immediately trailing the Wizards are the Warriors, defending NBA champs, with two former MVPs and four max-salary-level players among the five.
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The Wizards starters have logged 125.7 minutes together on the floor despite only being intact for six games (Porter sat out the Wizards' loss to the Suns with illness). Only two other five-man lineups have played more minutes together.
That's all about to change when Markieff Morris returns to the starting lineup after recovering from offseason hernia surgery and serving a one-game suspension.
As Wizards reporter Chase Hughes noted earlier this week, the Wizards have fared well with Oubre slotting into Morris's place, but re-inserting Morris into the starting five could make the team even more dangerous because it allows Oubre to anchor the bench.
Swapping in Morris shouldn't disrupt that success and pushing Oubre to the bench will only help the second unit. With Morris' return getting closer and closer, the Wizards have to feel good about how they have operated during his absence and the potential of their roster once he is back in the fold.
The potential Hughes references is the Wizards' ability to swap Oubre and Morris in and out with great production from each.
Last season, the Wall-Beal-Porter-Morris-Gortat lineup outscored opponents by 8.1 points per 100 possessions while playing 69 games together. That's a huge sample size (1347.4 minutes) of consistently high production. For some context, that was second best in the Eastern Conference among lineups that played more than 250 minutes together.
Subbing in Oubre bumped that net rating to +18.3, albeit over 39 games. Furthermore, playing the super-small "death lineup" of Wall-Beal-Porter-Oubre-Morris, which the Wizards used in 30 games, put up a +15.8 net rating per 100 possessions.
So the moral of this story is that the Wizards have two very good options at power forward. When Morris returns, the Wizards can use Oubre to anchor the bench or play alongside Morris very effectively in a small lineup.
It's a good place to be just in time for the Cavaliers. And if Oubre continues to excel, he could force his way into the starting conversation down the road.