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Keys to the Palace: No Wizards earn keys after a 1-2 road trip

There weren’t too many lockouts. But we had to sort out the passes this time.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards went 1-2 last week on the road as they lost to the Pacers last Monday, beat the Bulls last Wednesday, and lost big time to the Bucks on Friday. The Wizards are still 10th in the East and in striking distance of playoff positioning.

No one earned a key this past week, especially after the Bucks loss. But most players didn’t have terrible performances, so there were a bumper crop of passes. Let’s get to the virtual weekly hardware.

Guest Passes for average to above average play

John Wall, 20 ppg, 9.7 apg

Overall, Wall had a solid week. It wasn’t like the last couple weeks when he was averaging 25 ppg, but I’ll take 20 points and 10 assists a game from my starting point guard any day of the week. Ultimately, it’s a pass.

Marcin Gortat, 14.3 ppg, 10 rpg

He had an uncharacteristically bad performance against the Bucks. But the Polish Machines made up for it with his strong performances against the Pacers and Bulls beforehand. Considering that Ian Mahinmi is missing most of this season, be thankful Gortat’s out there busting his butt every day and coming out ahead more often than not.

Otto Porter, 14.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg

Porter only played 12 minutes in the Bulls game due to back spasms. He scored 8 points in that game nevertheless. If he played more that game, he could have received a key to be honest since he shot consistently from the floor all week long, especially from three (53.3 percent, 2.7 made threes out of 5 attempts a game).

Sheldon McClellan, 6.5 ppg

He played in two of the Wizards’ games last week, but he averaged more than 20 minutes a game after spending time in the D-League last week. McClellan’s best performance was against the Bulls when he scored 7 points.

Jason Smith, 4.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg

Smith made 62.5 percent of his shots and his plus/minus rating was -1.3. That’s better than John Wall’s, whose rating was -4.7.

Guest Passes for not being too bad

Bradley Beal, 17.7 ppg, 4.7 apg

Beal’s assist numbers were where you want to see them which is what kept him in pass territory. He also had a pretty bad week shooting the ball unfortunately (36.2 percent) which kept him out of the running for a key.

Trey Burke, 5 ppg

Burke continued to score consistently last week, so I’ll give him a pass.

Kelly Oubre, 4.7 ppg, 5 rpg

Oubre’s scoring production took a hit last week but he still was tenacious on the rebounding. I’ll give him a pass since he’s still adjusting to life as a rotation player.

Andrew Nicholson, 3 ppg, 2.5 rpg

Nicholson unfortunately played in both of the Wizards’ losses last week, but he wasn’a a blatant liability, so that’s enough for a pass.

Daniel Ochefu, 3 ppg

Ochefu’s best performance was against the Bucks on Friday, but by the time he played, it was garbage time. But in his circumstances, garbage time is about all the time he’s getting, so it’s nice to see that he played well anyway.


Markieff Morris, 9.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg

Morris’ best game was an 18 point, 11 rebound performance against the Bulls. But he was otherwise wildly inconsistent, more than I would have liked.

Marcus Thornton, 4 ppg

To be fair to Thornton, he had one very good game against the Bulls last Wednesday. But his performance on Friday negated that. The Bucks game hurt a lot of players to be honest.

Tomas Satoransky, 1 ppg

I’m being harsh for it, but you can’t dish two turnovers in garbage time against the Bucks — especially when it looks like garbage time is all you’re getting to get right now.

Get well soon

Ian Mahinmi and Danuel House are nursing injuries.