The latest stretch by Kelly Oubre isn't just his best basketball of the season but of the small forward's two-year career. And he's doing it on both ends going into the playoffs for the Wizards.
In the last seven games,, Oubre has played from 23-29 minutes and has had 16 points and seven rebounds; 14 points and five rebounds; 10 points, six rebounds and two steals; 10 points, four rebounds and three steals; six points and two rebounds; 15 points and five rebounds; and 13 points, five rebounds and two blocks.
But his greatest value can't always be seen in the statistics. The Wizards (48-31) aren't playing good defense, but the 6-7 small forward with the 7-2 wingspan has excelled against all shapes and sizes.
Coach Scott Brooks will use Oubre to cool a hot hand or in an end-of-game-situation, which are the first two examples, against the best offensive player:
vs. Carmelo Anthony, a 6-8 forward
vs. Jimmy Butler, a 6-7 guard/forward
vs. Isaiah Thomas, a 5-9 point guard
vs. Kemba Walker, 6-1 point guard
vs. Al Horford, 6-10 power forward/center
When the Wizards go to a five-man lineup with Oubre in for Markieff Morris with the starters, they allow just 100.2 points per 100 possessions in 200 minutes together. That's almost four points better than the regular starting five.
When Oubre is on the floor with Brandon Jennings, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jason Smith and Ian Mahinmi, they allow just 84.3 per 100 in a total of 86 minutes.
The best defensive pairings for the Wizards involve Oubre among the five. A playoff series can be flipped because of an adjustment such as Oubre to take away a team's key weapon.
In 2013-14, when the Bulls had a chance of turning around their first-round series with the Wizards, it was forward Trevor Ariza who was assigned to the problem matchup, point guard D.J. Augustin. He extinguished that hope.
While it was Paul Pierce and then Otto Porter who took the starting role upon Ariza's departure, Oubre is proving to be a closer match.
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