Washington Wizards: Davis Bertans is BACK

Washington Wizards Davis Bertans. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards Davis Bertans. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Did you miss him, Washington Wizards fans? Well, don’t worry. Davis Bertans is back.

It’s time to go delete your disparaging Davis Bertans tweets. Although the Latvian Laser got off to a rough start for the Washington Wizards this season, it looks like he’s finally getting back in form.

In the Wizards’ 130-128 win over the Denver Nuggets, their third win in a row, Bertans had a career-high 35 points. He made nine of his 11 three-point attempts and all eight free throws. The Nuggets were scrambling as they tried to contain Bertans down the stretch. As a result, he was fouled on two fourth-quarter three-point attempts and converted all of the succeeding foul shots. Bradley Beal’s clutch free throws with 0.1 seconds secured the win, but Bertans’ hit three big free-throws himself to put the Wizards up 128-125 with 8.8 seconds left.

Watching Bertans vs. the Nuggets felt like last season all over again. Every time he let the ball go, it felt like it was going in. Against Denver, it mostly did. And it mostly did in the Wizards’ previous game, too, another win vs. the Houston Rockets. Bertans made five of six threes that night and finished with 18 points.

Davis Bertans is finally giving the Washington Wizards what they paid for.

Finally, Davis Bertans looks like the guy the Wizards wanted when they offered him a five-year deal worth $80 million. Bertans’ last two games have been his best pair of games this season. But his recent success goes beyond a two-game sample. If you look at how Bertans has performed month over month, you see consistent improvement.

  • December: 5 games — 10.2 points, 28.6 3PT%, 52.3 TS%
  • January: 8 games — 11.4 points, 34.8 3PT%, 52.4 TS%
  • February: 10 games — 12.3 points, 44.7 3PT%, 68.9 TS%

As he’s gotten more playing time, Bertans has gotten better. Maybe his struggles were as simple as not having his legs, yet. Since he was admittedly out of shape to start the season, it certainly didn’t help that the Wizards’ season started, then had a short postponement, and then resumed a couple of weeks later. It’s been a wild and frustrating start to the season, but if there’s one thing or one person the Wizards need to be “normal” again, it’s Davis Bertans.

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In Wizards losses, Bertans is averaging 9.0 points while shooting 29 percent from three (48.5 TS%). In wins, he’s averaging 15.4 points while shooting 48.8 percent from three (73.1 TS%). Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook may be the headliners, but this season, the Wizards win or lose depending on whether or not Bertans is on. He hasn’t been on much this season, but that’s all changing. It’s no coincidence that him heating up coincides with the Wizards’ longest winning streak this season.

Look out. The Latvian Laser is back.