There is no surprise that the league come down on Kelly Oubre Jr. for his altercation with Boston’s Kelly Olynyk with a one game suspension. So how should the Wizards adjust with Oubre’s loss for Game 4?
While Oubre is not a starter, nor does he log a ton of minutes in these playoffs, he is a huge part of the Wizards game plan for Boston. No, he’s not the most polished offensive player, but he has a clever way of getting to open spots on the floor which helps the spacing for Washington’s second unit. Oubre would allow Washington to rest key players like Otto Porter and he even plays the two at times, giving Bradley Beal a rest. Washington’s starting five already plays the most minutes in these playoffs (seeing the steep decline in production when they go to the bench,) and they will probably be forced to give Porter more minutes in Oubre’s absence.
Where Washington will feel the effects of Oubre’s absence the most will be on the defensive side of the ball. He is a high energy player whole is able to guard four positions with his length. Yes, he has had a fouling problem this series (he tires to gamble more than he should at times,) but he is the best defender Washington has coming off the bench. And with Markieff Morris struggles with staying on the floor due to foul trouble this entire playoffs, Oubre played key minutes while Morris would be forced to the bench. With Oubre gone for Game 4 players like Bojan Bogdanovic (who is a less then great defender), Ian Mahinmi (only played one game in these playoffs), and maybe even 6’7 Tomáš Satoranský and Sheldon McClellan (who hasn’t played much at all) will need to pick up the defensive slack Oubre leaves.
Washington is more than capable of leaving game four with a win, but it will be foolish in thinking Oubre’s suspension won’t be felt in this game and maybe even more moving forward in the series.