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Tomas Satoransky is making most of his rare opportunity to play with John Wall out

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Tomas Satoransky is making most of his rare opportunity to play with John Wall out

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.

[RELATED: WITH WALL ALREADY OUT, BEAL HAS AN EYE INJURY]

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.

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.

[RELATED: SATORANSKY GOES 1-ON-1 ON THE PODCAST]

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' tough loss to Bucks including John Wall's circus shot

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USA Today Sports Images

5 must-see moments from Wizards' tough loss to Bucks including John Wall's circus shot

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 104-95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday afternoon...

1. John Wall came out swinging in the first half with 22 points, 16 of them in the first quarter alone. 

This was one of his best plays. Wall split two defenders and then flipped it in off the glass:

Wall finished with 27 points, nine assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks. 

2. Kelly Oubre, Jr. led the Wizards' bench with 19 points, five rebounds and a block. He missed on this play, but nearly dunked on Giannis Antetokounmpo. That would have been something:

[PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE]

3. Oubre did get this one to go down. He popped a three at the buzzer to end the third quarter:

4. Wall had some nice passes including this alley-oop lob to Tomas Satoransky. Sato got way up there:

Satoransky also threw down this alley-oop pass earlier thrown by Bradley Beal:

5. This last play was by the Bucks and it was not something you see every day. Antetokounmpo fired an assist through his legs like a longsnapper:

The Wizards lost a close one. Now they head to Charlotte to begin a five-game road trip.

[PODCAST: BRADLEY BEAL ON HIS GROWTH AS A LEADER]

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On MLK Day, John Wall wonders what King would think about race relations under President Trump

On MLK Day, John Wall wonders what King would think about race relations under President Trump

John Wall spoke at length over the summer about race relations in the United States following the violence in Charlottesville in August orchestrated by white supremacists.

Following the Wizards' game against the Bucks on Martin Luther King, Jr. day on Monday, Wall was asked about the subject again.

Wall does not believe improvements have made in the last few months with President Donald Trump in office and he wonders how King would react if he were alive to see the current state of America.

"I think he still wouldn't be satisfied. We're still dealing with it. I think it got better for a little period of time, but with the new president we have I think things are going backwards. We've been dealing with it the last couple of years. There are some things we still need to figure out," Wall said.

PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE

The Wizards play on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day every year and Wizards players cherish the tradition. It is not lost on Wall that he plays in Washington, D.C. where King made his famous 'I Have A Dream' speech and led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

“That’s just an honor and a blessing," Wall said.

"We are all still sticking to what he had with this dream, and we are just trying to get everything to be right with it. To be able to play in this city is an honor."

RELATED: WHO IS WINNING THE NBA MVP RACE?

Wall says he tries to embody King's dream in his own life. King helped lead the civil rights movement that paved the way for equal rights and Wall, an African-American, has much to thank for those who fought. Every American does.

Wall says he wants to make King proud.

“I just hope that he appreciates what I’m doing. I’m doing myself very well. I hope he’s thankful for what I’m doing. I’m striving to be a better African-American athlete, and just as a person first of all – I think that’s the most important thing," he said.

MORE WIZARDS: BRADLEY BEAL ON HIS GROWTH AS A LEADER