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Marcin Gortat had the bounceback game he needed in Game 3

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The no-mohawk look is working ... so far.

It’s safe to say that Marcin Gortat hasn’t been in many Wizards’ fans good graces lately. And his scoreless performance in a Game 2 playoff loss didn’t do him any favors. At least some fans wanted Scott Brooks to sit Gortat on the bench for the rest of the playoffs after last Tuesday.

Cooler heads prevailed though, and Gortat started in Game 3 when the Wizards beat the Raptors, 122-103. He scored 16 points on 8 of 10 shooting while also grabbing five rebounds in 25 minutes of game action. You can watch his highlights above from Down to Buck’s YouTube channel.

From watching his highlights, you’ll notice that seven of his baskets were assisted and six came from John Wall, who had 14 assists last Friday. There are two ways to look at it.

Some will be quick to say that Gortat is dependent on Wall passing him the ball to be effective. That’s a fair point. Gortat isn’t a post playmaker, a la Nikola Jokic. But there’s the flip side to consider as well. Wall needs Gortat to make shots in order to get those assists.

In the 2017-18 regular season, Gortat received an average of 6.5 passes per game from Wall in the games Wall was playing and made 59.5 percent of his shots from Wall’s passes. Of all the players Wall passed to in the regular season, Gortat actually had the highest shooting percentage from Wall’s passes, though I’ll admit that Gortat didn’t take three point shots.

The bottom line with the on-court Wall-Gortat relationship is that both players benefit from each other. Wall is one of the best point guards in the NBA and knows when Gortat is in a great fundamental position to score. But Gortat also regularly converts his shots when Wall passes him the ball, hence why he is getting assists. The Wizards had plenty of players who were poor at converting Wall’s passes, so I’m still happy that Gortat is on the team.

This isn’t to say that Marcin Gortat should remain the Wizards’ starting center next season or that he’s the best defensive option against Jonas Valanciunas. But at least for the postseason I’d still rather have Gortat starting at center because he is still very good at converting his shot opportunities from Wall’s passes.