In a season of lineup roulette, it should come as little surprise that the five-man unit that Randy Wittman used to close the Wizards' game against the Los Angeles Clippers had not played one minute together prior to Monday. But with the Clippers using Grant Hill at power forward, Wittman decided he needed to find a different combination. So, he trotted out the following unit: John Wall, Garrett Temple, Martell Webster, Trevor Ariza and Nene. At the time of the move, the Wizards were clinging to a one-point lead. The offense was floundering and the defense was letting Eric Bledsoe and Jamal Crawford go where they wanted. Chris Singleton was the de-facto power forward, but he committed a costly turnover and couldn't hit enough jumpers to space the floor. Then, Wittman went back to Webster, and suddenly, the tied turned. The Wizards went on an 11-2 run to turn a close game into a blowout, and it was all due to the small lineup that pressure the Clippers all over the floor on one end and opened the floor for Wall and Nene on the other.
Why the late-game small lineup worked so well
Bullets Forever | Feb 5