Its been no secret that the Wizards have struggled to score points this season. New Orleans, Toronto and Detroit are the only teams that average less that the Wizards' 87.6 points per game.
Washingtons most natural scorers (Nick Young and Jordan Crawford) play the same position and have rarely shared the court all season. That was before Wednesday nights surprise win over Oklahoma City. Down by nine late in the third quarter, Flip Saunders paired that duo with John Wall, a move that worked better than anyone expected.
That lineup gives us more ball-handlers on the floor, Saunders said. Youve got more guys on the floor who can score, and that opens up lanes. It opens up things for John to get to the basket more.
Washington started the game 0-for-6 from beyond the three-point arc, but with Wall able to penetrate the lane and find open spot-up shooters, the Wizards knocked down 7-of-10 late in the third quarter and early in the fourth.
I think it really helps because you have three guys that can attack and create, Wall said. Nick can make shots and Jordan can make shots. If you help off those guys, they can knock down three-pointers or penetrate, and that makes things easier.
Crawford and Young arent known for their efforts on the defensive end of the court, but, at 6 feet 7, Young has the size to match up with most small forwards. Against Oklahoma City, he held is own against two-time reigning scoring champ Kevin Durant.
I was just trying to get a hand in his face, Young said. I know he is one of the top scorers in the league and that they were going to run the offense through him. I wanted to play my hardest with him. I try to bring something different to the table every night.
If Saunders can trust the three-guard group defensively, this could be a lineup that he continues to use in late-game situations.
We know that if we play hard and we play together as a team that good things can happen, Saunders said. We have to be willing to sacrifice ourselves. I thought tonight we sacrificed and different guys carried us over the course of the game. We had good play from a lot of different people.