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Trevor Ariza will return to the starting lineup

Despite Martell Webster's excellent play recently, Trevor Ariza will return to the starting lineup now that he's healthy, Randy Wittman said.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We've been beating the drum here that Martell Webster deserves to start at small forward because of his shooting ability, his chemistry with John Wall and his usually-solid position defense. He's started the last five games as Trevor Ariza was hurt, and the Wizards have won three of them.

But it appears this won't last. Ariza is healthy enough to return, and Randy Wittman made clear that he's getting his starting job back.

Though we do often fret about this move, it shouldn't affect the starting lineup's performance much. The starting lineup with Ariza is outscoring teams by nearly 17 points per 100 possessions this year in a small sample, per The starting lineup with Webster is doing the same by 11.7 points per 100 possessions and was also lights out last year with Emeka Okafor instead of Marcin Gortat, but fears that Ariza would ruin the starting five's chemistry have largely been unfounded. On the other hand, Webster hasn't always adjusted well to his bench role and was just signed to a four-year contract, presumably to be the starter.

The best move ultimately might be a trade of Ariza for frontcourt help, particularly if Otto Porter shows he can be get healthy and at least be a rotation player. Until then, let's do lineup gymnastics, shall we?

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