Washington Wizards Still Lack a True Backup Point Guard

Washington Wizards have a top guard in John Wall, but the team hasn’t found a backup for him yet. Neither Burke nor Satoransky have been the answer.

Point guards, especially now that the NBA has entered a golden age for the position, are arguably the most important players on the court. By calling plays and dictating the pace of the game, point guards are an extension of the coach and often control the way the entire team operates.

John Wall has emerged as a premier point guard, making the All-Star team in three consecutive seasons. He’s seen an increase in his scoring this season under Scott Brooks and he’s currently leading the NBA in steals.

Wall is on pace to make an All-NBA team, solidifying his spot as one of the league’s elite.

But after undergoing double-knee surgery this past summer, Wall is also carrying a much heavier load than expected.

He’s currently ninth in the league in minutes per game (36.1).

After missing out on all of the premier free agents this past summer, Ernie Grunfeld focused on giving the team depth, making the Washington Wizards less reliant on the starters.

Even with the departure of Ramon Sessions, who agreed to a deal with the Charlotte Hornets, the Wizards seemed to have done enough to take pressure off the backcourt.

Washington’s second unit has been last in scoring for the majority of the season.

The scoring that both Sessions and Gary Neal provided has not been replaced.

Trey Burke and Tomas Satoransky were supposed to compete for the backup point guard position, but neither player has earned that role yet.

Despite a productive preseason, Satoransky has had a difficult time adjusting to the NBA speed.

His confidence has lacked, and given the team’s need for scoring, Brooks has opted to roll with Burke, who’s been a double-digit scorer for most of his career.

With that said, Burke’s offense is negated by his poor playmaking and defensive ability – two things that Satoransky has excelled at since arriving to the nation’s capital.

Burke is averaging a career-low 5 points in 12 minutes per game.

Satoransky has been mostly out of Brooks’ rotation and is putting up less than 8 points per-36 minutes of action. His lack of aggression, at least in terms of looking to score the ball, makes him virtually unplayable since the Washington Wizards desperately need an offensive threat off the bench.

Washington has been in this situation before and only addressed it through roster changes.

Sessions, Jannero Pargo, A.J. Price, Will Bynum, Shaun Livingston and Andre Miller have all had an opportunity to lead the second unit, yet the Wizards cannot find a permanent backup to Wall.

Finding a player of Wall’s caliber to lead the team while coming off the bench is impossible, but the Washington Wizards had an opportunity to find a competent backup this summer and failed.

There’s a reason why the Utah Jazz traded Burke to Washington for a future second round pick and it’s not because he was playing well.

The Wizards hoped that Burke’s scoring coupled with Satoransky’s length and court vision would give Brooks some versatile options, but neither player has stepped up and led the team how they envisioned.

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