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Keys to the Palace: Smith and Mahinmi rise during an otherwise down week

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards lost three of their last four games last week. It started with a blowout loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves last Monday, followed by another loss to the Dallas Mavericks last Wednesday in their first game back home after their five-game road trip. Then, the Wizards came back to win last Friday at home against the Bulls, but lost the next day against the Hornets.

There aren’t as many good evaluations to hand out, but for one bench player, he’s gradually earned some more love. So let’s hand out our virtual hardware for games played before Monday’s game against the Celtics, but I don’t think anything’s going to change that much.

Keys to the Palace

Jason Smith, 7.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg

Smith started in place of Markieff Morris in each of the past two games. His best performance was a 17 point, 7 rebound performance against the Bulls.

Ian Mahinmi, 8.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg

Mahinmi’s most formidable performance was in the Bulls game when he socred 16 points on 8 of 11 shooting in just 20 minutes. He also added 3 rebounds and two blocks. No, he’s not starting ahead of Gortat this season. But he’s showing us why he’s the Wizards’ $64 million man.

Guest Passes

John Wall, 21.5 ppg, 11 apg, 1.5 rpg

I know he dished 20 assists against the Bulls last Friday, but I think Wall’s best performance was a 26 point, 11 assist performance against the Mavericks when Washington lost.

Bradley Beal, 21.5 ppg, 2.3 apg

Beal’s best statistical performance was a 24 point, 10 of 18 shooting performance against the Bulls last Friday. His scoring production remained consistent, but he didn’t have an exceptional performance for his standards besides the Chicago game.

Otto Porter, 13.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg

Porter played his normal chameleon, fill-in-the-gaps where he has to game throughout the week. His most complete game was against the Mavericks when he scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished five assists.

Bojan Bogdanovic, 13.8 ppg, 3 rpg

Bogdanovic’s numbers started regressing to the average where he shot 43.2 percent from the field and only 38.1 percent from three. His performance against the Mavericks (19 points, including three three pointers and eight free throws) was his last major scoring outburst.

Markieff Morris, 8 ppg, 7 rpg

Morris had an uneventful week and missed the last two games due to being under the weather.

Kelly Oubre, 4 ppg

Oubre finally got out of a month long shooting slump by shooting 55.6 percent for the week. His best performance was a 4 point and 4 rebound performance against the Bulls.


Marcin Gortat, 7.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg

Gortat’s best performance was a 6 point, 16 rebound performance against the Hornets, but his shooting percentage as off all week. It just hasn’t been his week.

Brandon Jennings, 2.5 ppg, 5.5 apg

Jennings shot 25 percent for the week. Yes, he has remained a steady point guard throughout his entire time in Washington. However, I want to see him get hot from time to time as a scorer. Isn’t that what he’s most famous for being? That time has to come sooner rather than later.

Too little time for an evaluation

Tomas Satoransky played sparingly in three games last week. Sheldon McClellan was on the court for less than a minute. Daniel Ochefu didn’t see any time. And Chris McCullough is still on D-League assignment.