Wizards Vs. Nets: Evaluating Nene's Frontcourt Partners

One of the more interesting dilemmas the Wizards must solve after trading for Nene is figuring out which of their other young big men functions best alongside him. Nene's strength is his versatility, which presents coach Randy Wittman and the front office with a lot of different options.

In last night's win over the Nets, Nene played alongside three different players up front: Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely. Let's take a quick look at some positives and negatives from each of those stints.

(Thanks to Popcorn Machine for the data).

Nene + Trevor Booker

  • Minutes: 20 minutes, 17 seconds.
  • Plus/minus: +13
  • Likely floor positioning: Nene more in the low post, Booker in the high post.
  • Advantages: With Booker's improving jump shot, this offers the best offensive floor spacing of the three potential options.
  • Disadvantages: Both Booker and Nene are better boxer-outers than rebounders, so the Wizards will probably have trouble controlling their defensive backboard.
  • Verdict: Ultimately, this is probably the best option, but I'd prefer if Booker were a better rebounder. This is one reason I'm really into Thomas Robinson as a prospect.

Nene + Kevin Seraphin

  • Minutes: Four minutes, 36 seconds.
  • Plus/minus: +2.
  • Floor positioning: Nene more in the high post, Seraphin in the low post.
  • Advantages: In theory, this could be the Wizards' strongest rebounding tandem. It will certainly be their most physical.
  • Disadvantages: The floor spacing is not ideal, which will hurt on offense. Also, both players are probably better as the sole big on the floor for longer stretches.
  • Verdict: Ted Leonsis suggested this lineup and it certainly has its advantages in some situations, but the offensive floor spacing issues should relegate it to only occasional use.

Nene + Jan Vesely

  • Minutes: Four minutes, 20 seconds.
  • Plus/minus: -2
  • Floor positioning: Nene in the low post, Vesely floating around.
  • Advantages: Given how well both Vesely and Nene pass and cut from the high post, this tandem, in theory, could allow Randy Wittman to really open up his playbook.
  • Disadvantages: Bigger frontcourts would eat this tandem alive.
  • Verdict: If Vesely can improve his offensive skills, this lineup could be something. Until then, it suffers from the same things as any lineup that includes Vesely.
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