3 Questions for Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks

Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards Sam Dekker (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Which Bench Unit Will Contribute the Most?

For two franchises at very different points in their developmental trajectory and came into the season with very different goals, the Wizards and Hawks are surprisingly similar. Another area where they share this is scoring from their bench.

The Hawks and Wizards rank fourth and 10th, respectively, in bench-scoring points per game. While neither has a prospective Sixth Man of the Year Award winner on the roster, both teams do present a balanced scoring output from its reserves.

For the Wizards, it’s relied heavily on Markieff Morris (13.3 points per game) and Oubre (13.8 points per game). The latter is obviously no longer an option, but an experienced, savvy player like Ariza should be able to step in and contribute right away. Morris, who played just 11 minutes on Sunday against the Lakers before leaving due to injury, appears set to suit up against the Hawks.

Dekker also has an opportunity to build off of his 20-point performance against Los Angeles and solidify a spot in the rotation, especially as Porter is expected to miss at least another week.

Meanwhile, the Hawks main reserves are quite the mishmash of players ranging from a one-time sensation (Jeremy Lin, averaging 10.6 points per game off the bench), a grizzled veteran (Vince Carter, 7.1 points per game), and a versatile youngster (DeAndre’ Bembry, 8.6 points per game). None of these players should give the Wizards too much trouble, but if the Hawks bench is too much for the Wizards to handle, it likely won’t result in a win for Washington.