The Washington Wizards are in third place in the East as of Thursday, which is in large part due to the starting five.
Now, that is mostly due to how terrible some of the teams in the East have been (the Charlotte Bobcats would be in the playoffs with an 8-11 record if they started Thursday night), but don't take anything away from how well the Wizards have been playing.
After starting out the season 2-7, the Wizards have been on a tear, even without starting shooting guard Bradley Beal.
But which players are contributing most to Washington's success? The starting five has obviously been playing well, but who are the top players in Washington right now?
It's about more than just points and rebounds per game, it's about who is contributing most to the team and who will be talked about at the end of the season if the Wizards are able to continue this success and make the playoffs.
Backup point guard Eric Maynor is only averaging 2.9 points per game, although he has hardly played because of the great play of John Wall.
Note: Otto Porter Jr. is completely excluded from this list since he has not played in a single game, although he is on the 15-man roster. Porter, however, could be back sooner rather than later, according to The Washington Post.
14. Garrett Temple
Temple almost had a shot to get some minutes when Bradley Beal went down, but he was passed up by the coaching staff, only playing a combined three minutes in the last two games. He's only averaging 1.6 points this season in 16 games, and that's in over 10 minutes per game. Temple is just not being productive.
13. Glen Rice Jr.
What happened to Glen Rice Jr.? After having a great summer league, Rice has completely disappeared, only getting 6.1 minutes per game. He made headlines for all the wrong reasons earlier in the year, allowing Kyrie Irving to do this to him. If Porter is able to come back, Rice will fall even further down the totem pole of bench players.
12. Eric Maynor
Part of Maynor's lack of playing times is because of how great John Wall has been playing. With Wall getting over 37 minutes per game, where does Maynor really fit into this lineup? The short answer is nowhere. Maynor hasn't done much of anything, averaging less than three points and just over two assists.
11. Chris Singleton
Singleton is finally back in the lineup after suffering a foot injury in the offseason, so he can't get much higher on this list since he's only appeared in four games. However, he showed that he can be a contributor to this team Monday night against the Orlando Magic, scoring 11 points in 24 minutes.
Kevin Seraphin is playing just over eight minutes per game but is still scoring over three points per game.
Kevin Seraphin has really fallen out of favor with the coaching staff, getting passed up for minutes in favor of Jan Vesely and Trevor Booker.
He continues to look lost on defense but is averaging 3.6 points in a little over eight minutes per game.
At only 23, Searphin has plenty of time to grow as a NBA player, but this season hasn't been a factor for the Wizards in most games.
In this particular round of rankings, Washington's lower-tier bench players could be moved around in almost any order because of how poorly the bench has played overall.
But Seraphin gets a nod higher than the previous four players because he has promise as an offensive big man, he's just yet to show that he can play well on a consistent basis.
Jan Vesely has continued to be ineffective on offense but has been productive in his limited minutes on defense.
Who would have thought that Jan Vesely wouldn't be the worst player on the team at this point in the season?
Yes, there are plenty of jokes to be made about Vesely's dreadful offensive performance, but as we've already established, this ranking is about more than points per game.
Head coach Randy Wittman obviously wants to see what Vesely can do, playing him in 18 minutes per game this year, and Vesely has at least shown that he can play defense, averaging about a block every two games and pulling down 4.7 rebounds per game.
He played well against me in Euro Basket and I realized he is capable of playing in this league. I told him a few days ago, listen, at some point, you just have to say ‘Screw it. I’m going to go out there and do it. I’ve got to do it hard and try to take advantage of every situation.’ He was more aggressive, he was playing smart and he had a lot of energy. And if he can continue playing like that, he’s going to help us out.
It will be interesting to see what kind of role Vesely will take on as the season progresses, especially knowing the Wizards aren't picking up his option at the end of the year, but for now, he's a productive player.
Trevor Booker has played 14 minutes per game but is only averaging 3.6 points.
Trevor Booker has been in and out of the lineup this year, but not because of injury.
There have been several games where head coach Randy Wittman has made Booker a healthy scratch, showing that he may not give the coaching staff a lot of hope.
When he has been in the lineup, though, Booker has been at least taking smart shots, shooting 50 percent from the floor.
He's also picking up 3.7 rebounds per game in 14 minutes, so don't sleep on Booker going forward this year.
If Jan Vesely is injured or Al Harrington continues to miss time, Booker would be the next man up, and having him in the lineup wouldn't be disastrous for the Wizards.
When Al Harrington has been healthy, he's done exactly what the Wizards brought him in to do: shoot threes. In seven games, Harrington has shot almost 43 percent from three.
Al Harrington has done essentially what the Wizards expected him to do when they signed him: miss some time but make threes when he's healthy.
Harrington has missed the last 11 games with a knee injury, but he was effective nonetheless prior to missing time.
Washington has become more of an offensive-minded team, and Harrington has fit well into that, shooting almost 43 percent from three. If he keeps up those numbers when he eventually returns, Harrington could be looking at his best three-point shooting year since the 2006-07 season.
Harrington is averaging less than eight points per game, but in this case, that's good news.
Martell Webster, Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal have all shot so well from behind the arc that Harrington wasn't and won't be needed to shoot the majority of the threes.
When he does come back, Harrington will add yet another dimension to Washington's offense, which is a scary thought for opposing teams at this point.
Martell Webster has been a big part of Washington's offense, especially with Bradley Beal out.
Since Bradley Beal went down, Martell Webster has filled in as the starting shooting guard and has done a superb job.
In his last six games, Webster has scored 18 or more points four times, bringing his season point-per-game average to 12.4.
The Wizards are sixth in the league in three-pointers made per game, and Webster is a big reason, attempting over six per game and making more than two of them.
After having a career year last season, Webster is on pace to surpass his numbers from last year in points, assists, rebounds and field-goal percentage.
When Beal returns, it'll be difficult for Webster to find minutes with Trevor Ariza playing so well, but for the time being, Webster is one of the best scorers on this team.
Nene has been effective on both offense and defense this year, and to this point, has remained relatively injury-free.
Don't look now, but Nene has only missed three games this season.
The traditionally injured big man has meshed well with newcomer Marcin Gortat, giving the Wizards the consistent frontcourt they lacked last season.
Nene is fourth on the team in points, second in rebounds and second in blocks, not to mention his almost 51 percent field-goal percentage.
There have been small injuries popping up throughout the first six weeks for Nene, most recently an Achillies injury, but he hasn't missed too much time.
Even if he can play in 70 games this year for the Wizards, it'll be a victory all of its own, and if he keeps playing at this pace, he'd be looking at a career year.
Marcin Gortat has been a stronger defensive player this year than in the past, averaging 1.6 blocks and 9.2 rebounds.
But through 18 games, Gortat has made fans forget all about the draft pick.
Gortat is leading the team in rebounds, blocks and even field-goal shooting, making almost 55 percent of his shots.
The better Gortat plays, the better the Wizards have performed as a team. In Washington's nine wins, Gortat is averaging over 15 points, while in losses, he is only averaging 11 points, according to ESPN.
If Gortat keeps playing this way, fans will have easily forgotten about the draft pick and the loss of Emeka Okafor.
Trevor Ariza has played so well that there have been talk of trading him.
Trevor Ariza started out the season as the starting small forward, just when it seemed like Martell Webster was going to take the starting job.
Ariza was placed into the lineup by head coach Randy Wittman because he is a better defensive player than Webster, but his offensive numbers are what's getting him attention this year.
At this rate, Ariza will pass his career highs in points, rebounds, three-point shooting and field-goal percentage.
Going back to Washington's ranking in three-pointers made per game, Ariza is shooting 43 percent from behind the arc and is attempting over six threes per game.
There has been times when Ariza has gone cold on the floor, but more times than not he's been very effective on offensive.
Because of his expiring contract, Ariza could find himself on another team in the second half of the season, but for now, he's the third-best Washington Wizard.
Despite missing the last five games, Beal is still leading the Wizards in scoring per game for the season.
Although Bradley Beal has missed the last five games, there's no arguing with his numbers prior to his stress injury.
Beal still leads the team in points per game despite missing time, averaging over 20 points in his 13 games, good for seventh in the NBA among shooting guards.
The second-year shooting guard has been deadly from the center of the court, shooting almost 54 percent from the center of the court (from all shot distances), according to Vorped.
Head coach Randy Wittman told the D.C. sports talk radio station 106.7 The Fan that he hopes Beal will return to the lineup this week, and if he does, watch out for the Wizards.
In Beal's absence, the Wizards have won four out of their last five games, the one loss coming to the Indiana Pacers, who are arguably the best team in the league.
If Beal can stay healthy, he could be looking at his first All-Star appearance in only his second year out of college.
John Wall is the undisputed leader of the Wizards, and he's shown that he's ready to take the next step as a NBA point guard through the first part of the season.
No one should be surprised that John Wall is the best player on the Wizards right now.
Wall is the leader of this team, as he has shown on and off the court. Off the court, Wall drew some flack a week ago for saying he is the best point guard in the league.
But his play on the court makes a pretty strong argument.
Is he at a Chris Paul level right now? No. But by the end of the season, he could be in the conversation for the No. 2 spot.
Through 18 games, Wall is second in the league in assists and is second on the Wizards in points and first in steals.
Despite his struggles taking jump shots, Wall is playing to his strength, which is driving to the basket with the ball and blowing past defenders. It shows in his stats, with Wall shooting almost 60 percent from under the hoop, according to NBA.com/stats.
Forget about Wall making his first All-Star Game, Wall should be in the conversation for second team All-NBA.