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Keys to the Palace: Backup backcourt and Otto shine while Wall and most reserves miss the mark

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Despite the losses, we’re still handing out keys. They’re just not given to star players.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards went 1-3 last week. They are 2-7 at the moment, firmly entrenched as one of the NBA’s worst teams.

Still, we have individual awards to hand out and multiple players are earning Keys. It’s not the stars though.

Let’s get to them right here:

Keys to the Palace

The Wizards are in free fall, and I’m still giving out keys. It’s not to most of the Wizards’ who I expect the most out of though.

Sheldon McClellan, 6.3 ppg

McClellan’s biggest performance came on Saturday against the Bulls when he scored a career high 15 points starting in place of Bradley Beal who missed a second straight game due to a hamstring injury.

Tomas Satoransky, 6.5 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2.8 rpg

Satoransky nearly had a triple double on Saturday against the Bulls with 12 points and 9 assists. Five of those assists came in the first quarter when he picked apart Chicago’s defense in methodical fashion.

He also played 32 minutes against the Celtics where he scored 4 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, and dished 4 assists. Like Otto Porter, he is quickly being known as a jack of all trades.

Otto Porter, 18.3 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3 apg, 1.8 bpg. 1.4 spg

Though his performance on Saturday left much to be desired, Porter has been a more than simply consistent option for the starting lineup.

His 34 point, 14 rebound performance against the Celtics last Wednesday was the highlight of his week. Enjoy his performance with these highlights below:

Guest Passes for above average play

Marcin Gortat, 12.3 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 2 apg, 1.3 bpg

I really wanted to give Gortat a key. He’s been as consistent statistically as anyone on the Wizards roster. But the four point scoring performance against the Cavaliers was what did him under. Otherwise, he’d have it for sure. I particularly liked his 18 point, 14 rebound performance against the Bulls:

Kelly Oubre, 5.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg

Oubre scored in double figures twice in the past week in the Rockets and Cavaliers games. His playing time has been a little erratic, but his performance last week was better than the previous week.

Guest Passes for average to below average play

Bradley Beal, 11.5 ppg, 2 apg, 2.5 spg

Beal missed two of the four games this past week. He really only played one full game against Houston since he only managed to play 11 minutes against the Celtics last Wednesday. His performance against Houston was solid, but a 1 of 8 shooting performance against the Celtics didn’t help him.

Trey Burke, 8.3 ppg, 2.3 apg

Burke’s highlight was an 18 point, 7 of 9 shooting performance against the Celtics. The rest of his performances were generally below average or average so he’s solidly in the “average” category this past week.

Markieff Morris, 14 ppg, 8.8 rpg

Morris’s 24 point and 15 rebound performance against the Bulls last Saturday was outstanding and so was his 20 point performance against the Cavaliers on Friday. But his rocky shooting performance against the Rockets moved him into this guest pass category. That said, he’s closer to above average play than a lockout. Here are his best highlights from the Chicago game:

Lockouts

John Wall, 22.7 ppg, 6 apg, 3.4 rpg

Wall’s overall production last week was good. If I looked at that alone, he would’ve earned himself a pass for average to below average play. He doesn’t get to “above average” territory because he averaged nearly six turnovers a game once again.

But seeing Wall ejected in two consecutive games against the Rockets and Celtics cannot be tolerated. Sure, they didn’t come in make-or-break moments, but the Wizards can’t afford to see him miss time because of getting T’ed up.

Jason Smith, 1.5 ppg, 3 rpg

Smith’s minutes are increasing, yet he’s produced less offense with each passing game. His offensive production per 36 minutes and per 100 possessions this season is the worst in his career by far.

There’s no point playing Smith over Daniel Ochefu barring injury or an attitude issue. If Brooks is willing to let Sheldon McClellan start alongside Satoransky within the first ten games of the season, he should be more than willing to also make a change with his bench.

Marcus Thornton, 8.8 ppg, 1.8 apg

Thornton can easily earn a key when he has a string of two to four hot games in a row. His scoring production wasn’t bad last week, but it seems that Thornton is only trying to “get his” when he’s on the floor.

No evaluations

Ian Mahinmi hasn’t played yet this season due to injury.

Daniel Ochefu, Danuel House, and Andrew Nicholson didn’t play enough minutes for me to give a sufficient evaluation.