This just in: The lineup with Paul Pierce and Otto Porter playing at forward plus John Wall, Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat is doing work. The statistical proof beyond the 3-0 series lead.
- That unit has played together 30 minutes through three games against the Raptors
- The look with Pierce playing the stretch-4 -- using a 3-pointer shooter at power forward -- is designed to open the court with perimeter threats around the court, which in turns opens the lane Wall's penetration and pick-and-roll plays with Gortat
Shooting percentage: 48.1 from the field; the Wizards overall are 46.1. Gortat is shooting an insane 70 percent (21 of 30), Porter 63.2 (12 of 19), Pierce 53.8 (14 of 26).
3-pointers: 50 percent (9 of 18) from beyond the arc; the Wizards overall 39.4. Pierce and Porter are 14 of 26 (53.8%) from three this series.
Assists to turnovers: Maybe the most impressive of these stats. The group has 20 assists and only three turnovers for a 6.7 assist-TO rate. By comparison, over the other 119 minutes in the series, the Wizards have 55 assists and 41 turnovers. In two games, the Portland Trail Blazers have 29 assists total. Wall's playmaking wizardry leads the attack. The All-Star has 40 assists (13.3 apg) and 11 turnovers overall. James Harden is second in the playoffs with 8.7 assists.
Steals: Seven with this group. As a team, the Wizards have 16 in three games.
Offensive rebounding: Despite playing with only one traditional big man, this unit has eight -- or two more than the starting lineup that includes Nene (over Porter) and has played nine more minutes than the stretch-4 group. Eight of Porter's 14 rebounds have been on the offensive glass and he one more than Gortat.
Plus-minus: This group, plus-22 in the series. The Wizards are plus-25 overall. (Two other nuggets here: 1) The second best five-man unit (plus-9) is with the same perimeter players, but Nene instead of Gortat. 2) Pierce and Porter have played together 44 minutes this series and are plus-25