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Keys to the Palace: Oubre bounces back despite Wizards’ slump

NBA: Washington Wizards at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Thank God the last long road trip is over. The Wizards played four games against Western Conference opponents after a win against the Cavaliers. They defeated the Lakers last Tuesday, but followed it up with three losses to the Clippers, Jazz, and Warriors.

Some players got locked out, but I felt good enough to give one key last week. So let’s get to the virtual hardware:

Key to the Palace

Kelly Oubre Jr., 10 ppg, 4.3 rpg

Oubre has played at least 19 minutes in each of the Wizards’ last nine games. And during this road trip, Oubre also scored in double figures in every game except the Warriors last Sunday. It’s a step in the right direction after a lackluster stretch from mid February to early March.

Guest Passes

John Wall, 26.5 ppg, 9.5 apg, 4.8 rpg

Wall actually had a strong week statistically headlined by his 41 points in a loss against the Clippers (video below). But his performances got progressively worse as the road trip wore on.

Bradley Beal, 22.5 ppg, 3 apg

Beal had a consistent week with his production and consistency despite the losses. I’ll say that his best all around performance was against the Clippers when he scored 27 points, made five three pointers, and dished four assists. I wish that FreeDawkins’ channel separated Beal’s highlights from J.J. Redick’s in the video below. But it’s still a nice duo to watch:

Markieff Morris, 10.8 ppg, 5.3 ppg

Morris had an inconsistent week as this road trip came to an end. For example, he scored 14 points on 4 of 6 shooting in the loss to the Clippers. But he followed that up with a 2 of 13 shooting performance against the Jazz.

Otto Porter, 10 ppg, 4 rpg

Porter had a less than consistent week and his minutes went down as the week went on. His highlight was a 16 point, 7 of 9 shooting performance against the Lakers last Tuesday.

Bojan Bogdanovic, 9.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg

Bogdanovic averaged single digits in scoring for the first time ever as a Wizard. His worst performance was a three point showing against the Clippers, but his best performance was a 20 point outburst against the Warriors on Sunday when he also made 4 of 7 threes.

Ian Mahinmi, 7.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.3 spg

Mahinmi’s game this season has aged like fine French wine. He only scored double digits once in the win against the Lakers. But he otherwise had the best plus/minus rating of any player on the floor last week. Considering that he played 20 minutes a game, that counts. He didn’t have a big time game to warrant a key, but he had a much better week than most Wizards during this road trip.

Jason Smith, 6.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg

Smith played in three of the Wizards’ games last week. His best performance was against the Clippers when he scored 14 points and made four three pointers.


Marcin Gortat, 6 ppg, 7.3 rpg

Gortat’s numbers are lower primarily because he’s playing fewer minutes. That’s to be expected with Ian Mahinmi shouldering more of the load. But he has been overmatched in many games lately. It may be worth giving the Polish Machine some games off before the playoffs, but it’s not likely to happen. The lower minutes per game is probably the most rest he’s going to get.

Brandon Jennings, 2.8 ppg, 2.8 apg, 3 rpg

Jennings was scoreless in the two games against the Clippers and Jazz. His most notable play was when he got involved in an altercation with JaVale McGee toward the end of Sunday’s loss to the Warriors. In that play, McGee attempted and made a three point shot with seconds left in the game when the Warriors were already way ahead.

After, multiple Wizards players said Golden State was being “disrespectful.” I don’t think this is that big of a deal, though McGee taking and making the three is an interesting twist, since he played in D.C. for several years. But I don’t think it was necessary for Jennings to retaliate because his play hasn’t been as strong as I’d like.

For a guard who’s known for being a microwave on offense, he’s remained quite dormant since his 18 point effort against the Nets back on March 24.

Too little time for an evaluation

Tomas Satoransky played just one game last week, though he did score four points in garbage time against the Warriors. Daniel Ochefu only made a cameo appearance. Sheldon McClellan did not play at all, while Chris McCullough is still spending time in the D League.