There have been few bright spots for the Wizards over the past three games as they adjust to the troubles of life without John Wall. The Wizards are stumbling overall, having lost two of those three games and five of their last seven.
In recent games, however, their bench has carried its weight. Against the Timberwolves on Tuesday, the Wizards' second unit scored 49 points collectively and helped secure an important road victory. On Wednesday, they combined for 65 points as head coach Scott Brooks favored his bench over his starters late in a loss to the Sixers.
Backup point guard Tomas Satoransky has made the most of his rare opportunity for playing time. The second-year pro barely sees daylight when Wall is healthy as the third option behind primary backup Tim Frazier. Satoransky, though, has put together one of the best stretches of his young career.
Against Philly, Satoransky scored 12 points with eight assists and two rebounds. He shot 4-for-7 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
In his last three games, all with Wall out, Satoransky has scored 23 total points, dished 20 assists, shot 9-for-16 from the field, grabbled 10 rebounds and committed zero turnovers. He's been +38 during that stretch, running the offense competently and limiting his mistakes.
Satoransky has benefitted from being aggressive off the dribble. Of his seven shot attempts against the Sixers, five were either in the lane or at the elbow. At 6-foot-7, he can take advantage of opponents, especially guards, with his size and strength.
Here's an example. Satoransky caught the ball at the three-point line and showed no hesitation bullying his way to the rim.
Tomas Satoransky's increased confidence attacking the rim was on full display last night. He's been a bright spot despite Wizards losing 2 of 3 without Wall. pic.twitter.com/z3Hdmn2TSb— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) November 30, 2017
That was against Sixers' Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who is a 6-foot-6 forward. It was an example of his progression playing off the ball, something the Wizards' coaching staff wanted him to improve on this past summer. He is a point guard by trade, but plays like that show his potential to play other wing positions.
When Wall returns, recent history suggests Brooks will send Satoransky back to the end of the bench with Frazier remaining the primary option to run the second unit. But Satoransky is making a strong case for playing time in an opportunity he doesn't often get.
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