Washington Wizards: Stat-stuffing Parker gets revenge in Chicago

Washington Wizards, Jabari Parker (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards, Jabari Parker (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

In the second game since the trade with the Chicago Bulls, Jabari Parker is already carving out an important role on the team as facilitator.

Coming off the heels of Bobby Portis‘s impressive Washington Wizards debut on Friday night, it was Jabari Parker who got payback against their former team on Saturday.

Playing just three days after the Wizards and Chicago Bulls swapped Parker and Portis for Otto Porter, the Wizards came out on top, 134-125, in somewhat of a revenge game.

Portis received a lot of immediate attention thanks to a 30-point outburst at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which overshadowed Parker’s near-triple-double performance of 7 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists on Friday. In his hometown of Chicago on Saturday, Parker continued to show off his versatility with 20 points (including 6 dunks), 5 rebounds, and 6 assists.

In two games, Parker’s all-round skill set has been on full display, averaging 14.5 points, 8 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game. Sure, it’s only a couple games, but to put that output into perspective, the only players averaging at least 14/8/7 are Russell Westbrook, Nikola Jokic, and Ben Simmons.

We all knew Parker was an above-average scorer, but if he can stuff the statsheet and contribute in other areas of the game, the Wizards will have a tool at their disposal that exceeds what they were expecting.

In one area in particular, Parker can help ease the how the team navigates not having John Wall as their point guard. Since he went down, although Tomas Satoransky has started in his place, the team has filled Wall’s facilitating by committee.

Between Satoransky, Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza, and recently Chasson Randle, the team has had relied on a combination of players to compensate in Wall’s absence. If Parker can continue to put up assist totals as he has thus far, that gives the Wizards one more playmaker and can make the team a real threat offensively.

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Needless to say, it’s important to recognize these numbers have come against two of the league’s worst in Cleveland and Chicago, but it’s encouraging that Parker is already contributing beyond his scoring.