One of Scott Brooks' most common postgame platitudes is the assertion he needs to find a player more minutes. It is usually said about a guy on the bench who just had a nice game.
Quite often, that doesn't end up happening. Whether it's because he only meant it so much, or because other factors mitigate those plans, usually that player goes back to the very same role they had been serving.
Brooks seemed to acknowledge that after Tuesday night's win, when he really, really emphasized that he needs to find backup point guard Tomas Satoransky more minutes.
"A lot of times, I try to find everybody some minutes, but I'm finding him minutes," Brooks said. "I'm finding him minutes. I don't care who [it affects], I'm finding him minutes."
Satoransky had just played his second consecutive good game. Against the Clippers on Tuesday, he compiled 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block.
The 27-year-old helped key a 24-point comeback for the Wizards by playing almost all of the third quarter. The Wizards went into halftime down 73-54, but caught momentum in the third and outscored L.A. by 10 points in the frame.
Satoransky and a host of bench players nearly led the Wizards back from down 29 points against the Blazers on Sunday. Those two games have caught Brooks' attention.
"He just plays hard and plays the right way. There's no agenda," Brooks said.
Satoransky's role has fluctuated over the past two seasons. Last year, he was in and out of the rotation, sometimes starting while also riding the bench for extended stretches.
He has been through enough to know that comments made by Brooks in a postgame interview only mean so much. But he likes to hear that the coach is taking notice.
"I'm happy, obviously," Satoransky said when relayed Brooks' comments.
"My approach to the game is to always play hard and play for my teammates. That's what I've learned throughout my career. I'm always trying to bring it every game. Obviously, hopefully it is going to bring me more minutes."
Satoransky played a season-high 24 minutes in Tuesday's win. Part of that was due to foul trouble for Kelly Oubre Jr. But Satoransky got some of the minutes that would otherwise go to fellow backup guard Austin Rivers.
He was playing well and he got rewarded for it. His teammate Bradley Beal was happy to see that.
"He's a killer. A lot of people don't know it though [because] he's nice," Beal said. "A lot of people don't respect him because he's European. A lot of people may not know who he is, but he got game."
Satoransky seems to have done his part. Next up is the Toronto Raptors on Friday and that will be the first test of Brooks' goal to get Satoransky more playing time.
According to the coach, it's been a long time coming.
"I'm slow. It took me 15-16 games to figure that out, but he's earned it with the way he's playing," Brooks said.
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