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Daily Digits: Kelly Oubre needs to embrace his starting role

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Portland Trail Blazers v Washington Wizards Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Daily Digits is a new daily feature we’re doing at Bullets Forever this year where we take a look at stats about the Wizards. We’ll dive into the numbers, add some context, and discuss how they affect the product on the court.

Today’s stat is how much playing time Kelly Oubre got in Tuesday’s win over the Clippers, which was...

12:09

It looked like Scott Brooks was finally ready to unleash Kelly Oubre on Tuesday after he promoted him to the starting lineup in place of Markieff Morris, but he wound up playing less than he has all season. In fact, he played a full six minutes less than he has in any other game this season.

To find a regular season game where he was active and played fewer minutes, you have to go back to March 2017 when he played 39 seconds in a loss to the Timberwolves and then didn’t play at all in the following game.

It’s probably just a blip — he played nearly 30 minutes in each of the two previous games while shooting 60 percent from the field and making 3 of his 8 three-point attempts — but something worth monitoring over the next few games. Starting Oubre gives Brooks more license to toy around with his minutes depending on how he plays game-to-game. When he plays well, he can get a full starter’s workload. When he doesn’t have it, Brooks can turn to Markieff Morris, Jeff Green, Tomas Satoransky, or Austin Rivers to help lighten the load as they did against the Clippers.

The ball is in Oubre’s court now. He gets the chance to make a good first impression and do it with the unit that gives him the best chance to perform well. This is his best opportunity he’s going to get to show why deserves to be part of the team’s long-term future.