Tomas Satoransky is far from a perfect player, but he’s a capable backup point guard for a team that has sorely lacked one for years.
The only problem is Wizards coach Scott Brooks has generally avoided using Satoransky as the top backup to John Wall. Last year, Brandon Jennings and Trey Burke held that job. This year, it’s Tim Frazier. The Wizards have struggled to find a capable backup to Wall for ages — before Jennings and Burke, Andre Miller, Ramon Sessions, Will Bynum, Eric Maynor and others got a chance — and Frazier is the latest to fail to inspire any awe.
Meanwhile, Satoransky has finally gotten a chance, and he’s thrived in the role.
Wall took nine games off to heal an injured knee, and Satoransky, who was a healthy scratch in four of the Wizards’ previous five games, was thrust into action. Frazier got all nine starts with Wall out, but Satoransky was by far the better player.
Satoransky averaged more than eight points per game with Wall out, despite not scoring eight in a single game this season prior to Wall’s absence. He also managed 40 assists, 31 rebounds and three steals while committing just two turnovers. He shot about 53 percent from the field and drilled seven of his 15 3-point attempts.
Not bad for a third-string point guard, who is also sometimes inexplicably used at small forward.
So the question entering Wednesday, when Wall was due to make his return to the lineup, was: Who is the No. 2 point guard.
The answer ended up being Satoransky, much to the delight of Wizards fans.
Satoransky repaid his loyal fans with a strong showing in the first half, putting up two points (on one shot), two rebounds and an assist in seven minutes, but his impact went beyond the box score. Here’s a sampling of his effort throughout the first two quarters:
Satoransky still has a ways to go before he officially breaks Washington’s streak of subpar backup point guards, and Scott Brooks still has a ways to go before he proves he’s learned to trust Satoransky in that role. But Wednesday night was a huge step in the right direction. Let’s see what things look like in a week or so.