One of the key elements to this year’s Wizards team is their bench production. Unlike past years, the bench has been very effective so far this season. It also consists of players who are in different roles and junctures in their career. From Isaiah Thomas being on #ThatSLOWGrind to Moe Wagner getting his first chance to prove himself in the NBA, everyone has something to play for.
So far this season, the Wizards bench has been averaging 49 points per game. This has helped account for the sixth best offense in the league, at 116.8 points per game. Their high offensive rating has allowed the starters to rest without letting the game pass them by.
Key bench contributor #1: Davis Bertans
Despite the bench being improved as a whole, there are a select few players that have drawn attention for their play this season. One player that has caught the eye of many Wizards fans and analysts alike is Davis Bertans. He is currently averaging a stat line of 13.5 points, 4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists to go along with a three-point shooting percentage of 50%. However, the most impressive stat is his offensive rating. Through six games, Bertans has an offensive rating of 130.9, the highest on the team for players that have played in all six games.
Key contributor #2: Isaiah Thomas
Another bench player that has been very productive so far is Isaiah Thomas. While he did start Monday night against the Detroit Pistons, he has been better as a sixth man. He currently averages 14.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 7 assists a game. His assists are the 13th most among all NBA players. Thomas’ production has been optimal for the Wizards this season, as his usage rate is at 29%, second highest behind Bradley Beal. He also has the second highest Player Efficiency Rating on the roster at 21.4.
Key contributor #3: Moe Wagner
Lastly, another bench player that has made his presence known is Moe Wagner. He currently averages a stat line of 11.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. His accuracy has been key to the Wizards offensive success, leading the team in field goal percentage at 63%. His true shooting percentage also leads the team at 72%.
It will be very interesting to see how this Wizards bench plays the rest of the season. This unit has certainly shown much more promise than the those of seasons past, and is also much younger on average. Though there are veterans such as Isaiah Thomas and CJ Miles, there is also a lot of youth. Ample young talent is something the Wizards have not seen in quite some time. My guess is that what the bench is doing will not be an outlier. Instead, they will keep the Wizards in games, and continue to play a significant part in where the team goes this season.