Scott Brooks went back to a common saying about the Wizards when they play lackluster on defense like they have for the last five games.
“At times,” the coach said after a 119-104 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, “we hoped that they missed instead of making them miss. When you do that you’re not going to have success in this league.”
And yet, the Wizards (41-25) still went 4-1.
While Otto Porter, Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris didn’t always play their best, the reserves again were key in getting them the distance they needed to close games or getting them back in it as they did Monday in helping erase a 21-point deficit to Minnesota. They just couldn't finish off the last one.
“We dug ourselves a hole and a second unit came in and dig a great job of getting us back into the game,” Wall said.
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After Jason Smith didn’t play in 4 of 5 games, Brooks relied on him for 23 minutes in a comeback win over the Phoenix Suns.
Smith was 6 of 7 for 17 points in what was his best performance on the trip. He didn’t play in the next game, at the Denver Nuggets, but went 4 of 4 in 23 minutes, and then 0-for-1 and 2-for-3 in the last two in which he played 8-9 minutes. Smith made all three of his three-point attempts on the trip.
Ian Mahinmi shot a combined 14-for-19 (73.6%) and had seven more rebounds three times in averaging 20 minutes per game. His low-post defense and ability to defend away from rim was needed for versatile bigs like Karl-Anthony Towns.
Bojan Bogdanovic averaged 15.8 points but saw his efficiency shooting dip to 42% (23 of 55). From three-point range, he had two games where he shot 0-for-5 and 1-for-6. But he manufactured his offense from the foul line, going 16-for-16 in one game.
Brandon Jennings still hasn’t found his shot. He missed all eight of his three-point attempts and has yet to make one with the Wizards. He had 22 total assists, however, averaging 13.4 minutes behind Wall.
Tomas Satoransky has played spot duty. He didn't exceed eight minutes in any game but was a solid ballhandler and defensively which helped them get back into games. He only took four shots, making two.
The biggest dropoff came from Kelly Oubre, who played double-digit minutes just twice on the trip, ending with just 39 seconds of action in the final game. The last time he scored in double digits was Feb. 6 in the home loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.