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Keys to the Palace: Wall and Beal continue to carry the Wizards in January

The Wizards are continuing to show consistency as we enter the middle of January.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards were 2-1 last week. They beat the Chicago Bulls at home, 101-99 last Tuesday, lost on the road to the Boston Celtics the next day, 117-108. They finished last week by beating the Philadelphia 76ers, 109-93 last Saturday. The good guys are now 20-19, where they were tied for fifth place in the East with the Bucks and Pacers.

Washington’s road record of 4-13 concerns me, but they are an impressive 16-6 at home, so things are on the up and up. Time to hand out virtual hardware!

Keys to the Palace

Bradley Beal, 24.7 ppg, 2.7 apg

Beal averaged nearly four threes a game last week while averaging 50 percent shooting from the field. His best performance was a 35 point performance against the Celtics, but Beal had a strong week all around.

John Wall, 20 ppg, 10.7 apg. 6.7 rpg

Wall literally willed the Wizards to wins against the Bulls and Sixers. He also had a plus minus rating of 12.7, so if that doesn’t earn him one last #NBAVOTE, I don’t know what will.

Guest Passes

Marcin Gortat, 10.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg

Gortat is a double double machine. He also shot 64 percent from the field. Unfortunately, his usage has fallen back to the norm where it was just 13.6 percent after that 9 of 9 shooting performance against the Wolves on January 6.


Markieff Morris, 15.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg

Keef shot 6 of 11 from three last week. He also played a larger role rebounding as he grabbed nine each during the Celtics and Sixers games. Morris has also become a consistent scorer over the last month and a half. He has scored 10 or more points in 11 straight games. That said, he hasn’t had an uber great performance to warrant a key given his role on the lineup.

Otto Porter, 13.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2 spg

Porter once again had an efficient week as he made a positive impact in all of the Wizards’ games despite a 14.9 percent usage rating including double digit scoring performances in every game. Like Gortat, the Wizards need to find a way to get Porter some more touches where they can.

Jason Smith, 9 ppg, 5 rpg

Smith averaged 18 minutes per game last week. Yes, he averaged a -10 in plus minus rating — and the Wizards are doing worse when he’s on the court for too long. But to his credit, Smith made half of his shots, and scored a season high 13 points against the Celtics last Wednesday.

Kelly Oubre, 3 ppg, 3 rpg

Oubre shot less than 30 percent this past week. However, six of his shot attempts happened during the Bulls win, and he other wise played solid defense all week for a bench unit that really needs it.

Lock out

Trey Burke, 4 ppg, 2.3 apg

Burke improved throughout the week but last week, but he ultimately didn’t play like a serviceable backup point guard.

Sheldon McClellan, 2 ppg

McClellan had a -13.3 plus minus rating last week. His best performance was against the Celtics where he scored five points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 16 minutes. Unfortunately, he had a -13 point plus/minus rating in that time as well.

Too little time for an evaluation

Tomas Satoransky, Andrew Nicholson, and Daniel Ochefu only played one game last week which was against the Sixers. Meanwhile, Marcus Thornton didn’t play a single game last week. It appears that he is falling out of the rotation while Satoransky is getting an opportunity to get back in it.


Get well soon Ian Mahinmi and Danuel House.