Washington Wizards: Balanced scoring, rotation changes propel Wizards to win over Minnesota Timberwolves

Washington Wizards Sam Dekker (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Sam Dekker (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards’ much-needed win over the Minnesota Timberwolves was punctuated by a change to the rotation to feature its young energizers and give Bradley Beal some help on the offensive end.

Washington Wizards fans have been clamoring for somebody—anybody—to give Bradley Beal some scoring support. On Sunday, more than enough of the team answered that call.

In a 135-121 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, six Wizards players other than Beal scored in double figures, including every starter. Bobby Portis led the way with 26 points and 12 rebounds.

But the story of the game was the momentum that the reserve unit gave the team in the second half. Jabari Parker scored 22 points off the bench. He had 11 points in the third quarter, which coincided with the Wizards outscoring the Timberwolves by 12 points and retaking the lead.

Where things really shifted was when Sam Dekker checked in for the first time with a few minutes left in the third. He hadn’t played non-garbage time minutes since February 6, just before the trade deadline.

Dekker reminded Wizards fans (and hopefully the coaching staff) what he can provide with his athleticism, energy, and hustle. In the closing seconds of the third quarter, he ran down a loose ball, kept his balance along the sideline near halfcourt, and tossed a behind-the-back pass to a streaking Parker at the other end for a bucket to put the Wizards up by 10.

Scott Brooks opting to plug in Dekker where he usually plays Wesley Johnson, as well as giving Troy Brown Jr. his third consecutive game of 10 or more minutes hopefully is a sign of changes to come in the rotation. The youngsters’ variability is much higher than Johnson’s, and this is a team that needs a spark.

Dekker finished with 11 points in 15 minutes. Brown, who only had 2 points, contributed with 4 rebounds and 5 assists, including running the offense. Keep an eye on Chasson Randle‘s minutes as Brown, a former point guard in high school, gets more run.

The fact that Beal’s flirtation with a triple-double with 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists barely registers as a headline in a Wizards victory is a good sign for the squad. As highlighted on Wiz of Awes earlier in the day, the 10-game stretch that began with Sunday’s game is prime for the Wizards to make a playoff push. The win over the Timberwolves is a great start to build off of before Wednesday’s home matchup against the Dallas Mavericks.

Next. Washington Wizards: The Next Ten Games Will Decide Wizards Season. dark

If the team can continue to provide a balanced attack between Beal’s high-level play, consistent scoring from the starters, and energy from the bench, they can expect to play more meaningful games throughout March.