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With Scott Brooks hinting at changes, what are the Wizards' best lineup combinations?

With Scott Brooks hinting at changes, what are the Wizards' best lineup combinations?

It would've been unfair to expect the Wizards to win more than one game in a four-game road trip consisting of the Suns, Nuggets, Lakers and Clippers. 

Still, the way they lost, especially in Los Angeles, prompted head coach Scott Brooks to hint at lineup changes moving forward. 

As the Wizards offense continues to be outrageously efficient, their defense just hasn't been able to provide any sort of resistance against opposing offenses. 

Chase Hughes outlined a few options Brooks could consider to fix the defensive woes, so what do the stats suggest?

We're going to take a look at the three best offensive, defensive and overall five-man lineups the Wizards have this season per 100 possessions.

For reference, the Wizards' current starting five of Isaiah Thomas, Bradley Beal, Troy Brown, Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant have a 101 offensive rating, 117.9 defensive rating and a -16.9 net rating. Not great. 

Best defensive lineups (min. 20 minutes played)

1. Ish Smith/Bradley Beal/Jordan McRae/Davis Bertans/Thomas Bryant: 77.9 DEF rtg
2. Smith/Beal/McRae/Bertans/Moe Wagner: 95.2 
3. Thomas/Beal/Bonga/Hachimura/Bryant: 105.8

Chase may be on the money suggesting a return to the starting lineup for Ish Smith and playing Isaac Bonga more minutes.

Smith isn't exactly a defensive ace, but he's consistently been better than Thomas on that end of the floor. If Thomas is relegated to the second unit where he can be the primary ball-handler with Bertans and Wagner spacing the floor, he could see an uptick in his scoring and efficiency. 

But what if fielding a good defense is impossible for this Wizards team? What if the best defense for them is an even better offense? Here's a look at three five-man combinations that get the most buckets. 

Best offensive lineups

1. Smith/Beal/McRae/Bertans/Bryant: 130.4 OFF rtg
2. Smith/Beal/McRae/Bertans/Wagner: 127.3
3. Thomas/Beal/Bertans/Hachimura/Bryant: 127

The common theme here? Smith, Beal and Bertans. Whatever changes Brooks plans to make moving forward, more minutes for Smith and Bertans figure to be first in line. 

Everyone wants balance though. If you can find a lineup that gives you both great offense and defense, you want to try and give that group as much time as humanly possible. 

So here's a look at the three lineups that have the best net rating on the team. That calculation is done by simply subtracting your defensive rating from your offensive rating. 

Best lineups

1. Smith/Beal/McRae/Bertans/Bryant: 52.8 NET rtg
2. Smith/Beal/McRae/Bertans/Wagner: 32.1 
3. Thomas/Beal/Bonga/Bertans/Wagner: 11.1

The Smith-Beal-McRae-Bertans-Bryant combo owns the Wizards' best offense and defense, so it's only natural for them to hold the top spot here.

Brooks may not make three changes to the starting lineup at once, especially since Hachimura is starting to show more promise in his starting role. But playing Bertans and Smith more with Beal is statistically their best option. 

If Brooks makes changes and the defense is still putrid, it may be time to make some roster changes. The NBA's recently signed restriction for this past summer's free agents ends on December 15, so there's a good chance we know by then which teams are in the market to make a trade. 

If there's an offensively starved team with an abundance of defenders -- Magic, Thunder -- the Wizards would be a natural trade partner. Whether they want to make any upgrades during a rebuilding year remains to be seen, but it's an option given the imbalance offensively and defensively with this roster. 


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Davis Bertans' incredible start to the season, by the numbers

Davis Bertans' incredible start to the season, by the numbers

Davis Bertans was on fire once again on Tuesday night in the Wizards' loss to the Charlotte Hornets, as the Latvian Laser continues his breakout season in Washington hitting threes at a historic rate. Here are some numbers to put what he is doing in perspective...


Bertans had 32 points in Tuesday's game, the ninth time he has scored 20 or more already this season. He had scored 20-plus points only three times previously in his career.


Bertans has made six or more threes in a game six times already this season, including four times this month. Before he joined the Wizards, he had done it twice as an NBA player.


Bertans is one of only seven players in Wizards/Bullets franchise history to make eight threes or more in a game. The others are Gilbert Arenas, Trevor Ariza, Bradley Beal, Bojan Bogdanovic, Rex Chapman and DeShawn Stevenson. Only Beal (nine) and Ariza (10) have made more than eight.


Bertans has made 92 threes through 23 games this season. The ony players who have made more through this point in NBA history are James Harden and Stephen Curry. The previous high for a Wizards/Bullets player was 72 (Arenas).


The 92 threes in 23 games has Bertans averaging four per game and on pace to make 328 on the season. Only two players have ever made 300-plus threes; Harden and Curry. The record is 402, by Curry in 2015-16.


Bertans has made four threes or more in six straight games and five or more in four straight. Both are franchise records. During this six-game stretch, Bertans is 36-for-71 (50.7%) from long range.


Bertans is making most of his threes on catch-and-shoot plays and leads the league in most related categories. He is tops in the NBA in points off catch-and-shoot plays (9.6/g), field goals made (3.2/g) and three-pointers made (3.1).


A whopping 70.8 percent of Bertans' shot attempts this season have come from three-point range. The next highest percentage for a Wizards player is 34.6 percent, by Moe Wagner.

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Ish Smith helps mop the court during a timeout

NBC Sports Washington

Ish Smith helps mop the court during a timeout

As a guard, Ish Smith is asked to do a lot on the court. Pass, shoot, and defend, the Wizards need him to do it all in order to succeed. On Tuesday, however, Smith demonstrated another on-court intangible that isn't always seen from NBA players: cleaning.

During the final moments of what would be a 114-107 loss to the Hornets, the game came to a halt in order to mop up a wet spot on the court. Smith happened to find himself near the large mop under the baseline, grabbed it and began helping out the worker. 

Overall, it's pretty good form here from Smith. He bent his knees, extended his arms and had a solid motion with the mop. Smith finished the night with 13 points and five assists in the boxscore, but this sixth assist was his most innovative.