It’s a great time to be the Washington Wizards' fivesome of Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat, Kelly Oubre Jr., Otto Porter Jr. and John Wall, whose plus-20.4 net efficiency in 176 minutes on the court this season ranks fourth in the NBA (min. 75 minutes played) and compares favorably with the league’s elite groupings.
You’ll see plenty of the Wizards in action when they take on the Grizzlies at 9:30 p.m. ET Friday (ESPN). What are some of the things you should be noticing?
Wall is having another great year after his career season in 2016-17. He’s one of three players to average at least 20 points and 10 assists over the past two seasons, joining Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Wall seeks to make his fifth straight All-Star team. No other Wizard has made the All-Star team in the past 10 seasons.
Beal leads the Wizards in scoring with a career-high 23.4 PPG. Washington has been at its best with him on the floor -- 10.9 points per 100 possessions better compared to when he's off the court, the highest net rating differential for any Wizards player this season (higher than Wall's plus-9.8).
Otto Porter Jr.
Porter is averaging 14.6 points and 6.5 rebounds, shooting 46 percent from 3-point range. All of those numbers would be career highs over a full season. Porter has recorded a 4.87 real plus-minus, which ranks eighth in the NBA and third among small forwards, trailing only Cleveland's LeBron James and Philadelphia's Robert Covington, and ahead of Golden State's Kevin Durant and OKC's Paul George.
Porter is one of two players with an offensive and defensive real plus-minus above 2.0. The other is the Nuggets' Nikola Jokic.
Kelly Oubre Jr.
Oubre comes off the bench but is playing an average of 27 minutes per game, up from 20 last season. That’s merited based on his scoring rate increase. Last season, he averaged 11.2 points per 36 minutes. This season, that’s up to 15.4, thanks to 3-point shooting that has improved from 29 percent to 38 percent.
The Wizards can rely on Gortat for accurate shooting. Gortat is shooting at least 54 percent for the fifth straight season since being traded to the Wizards before the 2013-14 campaign. The only other qualifying player to hit this mark each of the past five seasons is Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.
One thing to watch
One other thing this group has done well is to defend the 3-point line. Opponents are shooting 29 percent from 3-point range against this fivesome.
The Wizards as a whole lead the NBA, holding opponents to a 33 percent 3-point percentage.
That came into play during a three-game winning streak that has put the Wizards at 22-16 entering Friday. They held the Rockets to 29 percent shooting from 3 in one win, and the Bulls to 23 percent in another.
Though in fairness, it's scoring that has been carrying Washington recently. The Wizards are averaging 116 points since Dec. 23, best in the NBA in that span.
Did you know?
The Wizards are 12-7 against teams with a winning record this season. But they’re only 10-9 against teams with a losing record. The latter is the worst record among teams that are over .500.