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Keys to the Palace: Multiple starters and reserves step up as Wizards clinch playoff spot

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NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards won three of their last four games last week to clinch a playoff spot, and hopefully more than that. They started out with a 110-102 loss against the Celtics last Monday. But they followed that up with three straight wins against the Hawks, Nets, and Cavaliers. You’d think my evaluations should be a bit nicer this week. Let’s see, and give some virtual hardware.

Keys to the Palace

John Wall, 24.3 ppg, 9.5 apg, 2.5 spg

Wall aged like fine wine as the week went on. He scored 16 points against the Celtics, 22 each against the Hawks and Nets, and finished with a 37 point and 11 assist performance against the Cavaliers where he made two thirds of his shots.

Bradley Beal, 23.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3 apg

Beal’s best showing was a 28 point, 9 rebound performance against the Hawks last week. Besides that, he was consistent all week long. The ATL highlights are below:

Jason Smith, 9.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg

Smith scored at least 8 points in each game last week. He’s not a simple “designated survivor big man” folks. Below are his highlights from a 13 point performance against the Celtics where he also drained three three pointers. STRETCH FOUR/FIVE ANYONE?

Brandon Jennings, 8.5 ppg, 6.8 apg

Jennings scored 18 points and 9 assists against the Nets and I’ve put some highlights below. He also dished at least five assists every game in the past week! Hopefully we’ll see some more scoring outbursts like we did last Friday.

Guest Passes

Bojan Bogdanovic, 12 ppg, 5 rpg

Bogey had a bogey against the Hawks when he failed to score in double digits. But he followed that up with a 17 performance against his former Nets. He missed the Cavaliers game due to a back ailment.

Markieff Morris, 11.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg

Morris was in guest pass territory either way, but his 5 point and 0 rebound performance against the Nets was questionable in an otherwise good week for D.C.’s starting power forward.

Kelly Oubre Jr., 8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg

Oubre has finally woken up from his slump last month. His 17 point, 7 of 8 shooting performance against the Cavs is his highlight of the week, but I’m not too quick to give him a key because ... he’s able to be more consistent over the course of a month.

Ian Mahinmi, 5 ppg, 5.5 rpg

Mahinmi’s best performance was a 16 point, 5 of 6 shooting performance against the Nets last Friday. He also rebounded 7 times, and stole the ball four more times.

Lockouts

Otto Porter, 8.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg

Porter didn’t have one of his better weeks as the Wizards performed better when he was off the floor rather than on it. In fact, the Wizards were doing worse with him during the Nets and Hawks games than when he was on the bench. If anything, the man’s tired, but the NBA schedule is the NBA schedule.

Marcin Gortat, 6.5 ppg. 6 rpg

Gortat only averaged 20 minutes a game, hence his lower production. Otherwise, the Wizards were worse when he playing than when he was on the bench. He’s probably more tired than Porter right now.

Not enough time for an evaluation

Daniel Ochefu, Tomas Satoransky, Trey Burke, and Sheldon McClellan played sparingly when they were on the court. Chris McCullough is in the D-League on assignment with the Northern Arizona Suns.