The Washington Wizards should be sending the San Antonio Spurs handwritten thank you notes every day for gifting them Davis Bertans.
Since the transactions in the NBA have become arguably as relevant and exciting as the actual action on the court, the ‘Revenge Game’ has become increasingly popular. With a lot of new faces on the roster, the Wizards’ schedule is loaded with possible revenge games.
For those of you who are hearing this term for the first time, a Revenge Game happens when a player with a new team plays against their former team. Usually, a true Revenge Game follows a trade, although some players who left in free agency will still look to enact revenge.
We’re barely a month into the NBA season, and one new Wizard has already made the most of his revenge opportunities.
Davis Bertans came to Washington this summer after the San Antonio Spurs, who were uncharacteristically interested in Marcus Morris, decided he was expendable. Ultimately, the Wizards stole him from San Antonio for next to nothing.
By all accounts, it was nothing but love between San Antonio and Bertans before the trade. He’s usually the kind of player the Spurs organization would hold onto. Luckily, they didn’t, and he’s already had two chances at revenge versus his former team.
In his two games versus the Spurs this season, Bertans has lit up his former team. If they didn’t regret the trade when the whole Morris fiasco happened, they do now.
Bertans has been having an incredible season, averaging career-highs in field goal attempts and percentage; three-point attempts and percentage; effective field goal percentage; minutes, points, rebounds, assists, and overall offensive rating (per Basketball-Reference).
On the season, he’s averaging 12.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists on 45 percent shooting from the field and 43 percent from outside.
Against his old teammates, though, Bertans upped his game showed the struggling Spurs what they’re missing: An absolute beast. In his first game back in San Antonio since the trade, Bertans was literally perfect from the field. He made all seven of his shots (five of them three’s) and finished the game with 23 points. Unfortunately, the Wizards lost by two.
Thanks to another stellar performance from the Latvian Laser — 21 points, five rebounds, four assists on 63 percent shooting — the Wizards were able to split the season series with the Spurs.
Some of Bertans’ best games as a Wizard (and of his whole career) are the two versus his former team. Bertans has scored 20 or more points three times this season. Two of those three games were versus San Antonio. During his three seasons as a Spur, Bertans scored 20 or more just three times. He’s already matched that with the Wizards. Ironically enough, one of those 20-point games was against Washington.
Since coming to Washington, Bertans has exploded onto the scene and won over fans with his lightning-quick trigger from outside. Even with a larger role than he had in San Antonio, Bertans has sustained his impressive efficiency on the floor despite a higher usage rate. He is currently posting a career-high Player Efficiency Rating (PER) for the 2019-20 season.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you, San Antonio. It was a blast watching Bertans get his revenge, and we look forward to more fireworks from him all season.
Bertans’ deal is up at the end of the season, but with his bird rights wrapped up, the Wizards would be smart to keep his around for years to come. Or at least consider it. If Bertans is still around when Wall returns, he’d be the best shooter the All-Star point guard has ever had.