In Monday’s loss to the New York Knicks, one of the things I was more concerned about was how the reserves would play together. There’s no doubt that John Wall and Bradley Beal are the starting backcourt, but it remains to be seen how well the Wizards’ reserve guards will play together.
For much of the past several years, the Wizards brought in several reserve guards, especially point guards from Andre Miller to Ramon Sessions, Tim Frazier, and Ty Lawson. None lasted in Washington for a long period of time for various reasons.
This year, Tomas Satoransky appears to have a more solid grip on the backup point guard position. He scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting in nearly 20 minutes of game action on Monday. But Satoransky, whose role as a point guard isn’t totally secure, has competition. Austin Rivers was acquired last summer from the Clippers in exchange for Marcin Gortat. He scored seven points and dished three assists in 23 minutes of playing time.
There should be little doubt that both Satoransky and Rivers will often play together and they did on Monday. Yes, the Wizards lost, but they both played rather well, at least for the first game of the preseason.
Satoransky has been more open about playing other roles on the team than point guard which could allow Rivers to spend some time there as well. And a two point guard offense can often be more deadly than one. For the Wizards this season, it will be paramount for them to make sure that Satoransky and Rivers spend a lot of time together on the court. If they can get things clicking for the Wizards’ second unit, then Washington will have a much better 2018-19 season than many pundits think.