Wizards

Analyzing the Wizards Potential Starting Lineups in 2019-20

The Wizards offseason was a very busy one. In Tommy Sheppard’s first stint as the organization’s shot caller, Washington added several new players via the draft, free agency, and trade. Here’s a brief breakdown of their additions and subtractions now that the dust has settled:

Additions: Rui Hachimura (F), Admiral Schofield (F), Justin Robinson (G), Garrison Mathews (G), Ish Smith (G), Isaiah Thomas (G), C.J. Miles (F), Davis Bertans (F), Mortiz Wagner (C/F), Issac Bonga (F/G), Jemerrio Jones (F)

Subtractions: Tomas Satoranksy (G), Bobby Portis (F/C), Jabari Parker (F), Trevor Ariza (F), Sam Dekker (F), Jeff Green (F)

Given the lack of “sure things” at certain positions at the roster, head coach Scott Brooks has his work cut out for him in trying to establish a starting five. Luckily, though, Brooks has a lot of options. Here are some of those options for starting lineups that he can choose from.

Note: This is under the assumption that forward C.J. Miles is healthy at the start of the regular season.


Lineup #1

PG – Isaiah Thomas

SG – Bradley Beal

SF – C.J. Miles

PF – Davis Bertans

C – Thomas Bryant

This lineup could otherwise be called “shooter’s galore”. Inserting Thomas, Miles and Bertans in the starting five alongside Beal and Bryant would maximize the team’s outside shooting and floor spacing. Beal would be tasked with much of the playmaking duties in this five-man combination and the defense and rebounding with Bertans and Thomas on the floor is less than ideal. Both Thomas and Bertans are sieves defensively. All four guards and forwards can knock down perimeter shots, though, which would give the team a different dynamic offensively 1-4.

Lineup #2

PG- Ish Smith

SG – Bradley Beal

SF – Troy Brown Jr.

PF – Rui Hachimura

C – Thomas Bryant

Whereas the first lineup prioritized pace-and-space, this option details youth and athleticism. No, Ish Smith is not young, but he’s a superior athlete to Isaiah Thomas and is adept at pushing the ball in transition. Smith is fast, and swapping Miles and Bertans for TBJR and Hachimura would bring some added juice and athleticism to the floor. Doing so would eliminate experience and leadership, though, as Beal and Smith would be the only veterans on the floor. Another potential downside is outside shooting. Beal is the only proven above-average shooter in this group.

Lineup #3

PG – Isaiah Thomas

SG – Bradley Beal

SF – Troy Brown Jr.

PF – Davis Bertans

C – Thomas Bryant

The same lineup as the one prior except with Thomas and Bertans in place of Ish Smith and Rui Hachimura, and the same lineup as the first option with the exception of Troy Brown Jr. at small forward instead of C.J. Miles. Having IT, Bertans, and Beal on the floor gives the Wizards three capable outside shooters. While Brown isn’t the most polished shooter himself, he helps compensate with added playmaking and rebounding abilities, which mix well with Beal.

Wildcard lineup

PG – Troy Brown Jr.

SG – Bradley Beal

SF – C.J. Miles

PF – Rui Hachimura

C – Thomas Bryant

In my humble estimation, this might be the Wizards best overall lineup but the odds of it actually being deployed are very low. I like the idea of Brown running point and think he has the ball-handling, court vision and instincts to thrive as the primary offensive initiator. Playing him and Miles together alongside Beal is Washington’s best perimeter trio in terms of defensive skill sets, length, and versatility. Having both Brown and Hachimura on the floor would also provide a significant boost in terms of rebounding, as the likes of Thomas, Smith, and Bertans are below-average rebounders at their respective positions.

The issue that arises from this potential five-man group is what happens to Smith and Thomas, the Wizards natural point guards? I’d be fine with Smith getting bumped out of the rotation and would rather see Brown at PG, but given Washington just signed him to a two-year, $12 million deal (fully guaranteed), said scenario isn’t going to happen. Brooks seemed reluctant to give Brown many playmaking responsibilities last season, too, so unless that suddenly changes, it’s hard to envision him playing him at point guard.

Still, it would be an interesting experiment nonetheless and could actually prove to be worthwhile.

 

 

 

 

 

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