Washington Wizards: 3 Wizards that need to step up with Davis Bertans out

Washington Wizards Davis Bertans. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards Davis Bertans. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Wizards Deni Avdija.
Washington Wizards Deni Avdija. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Wizards are losing the Latvian Laser for the next few weeks. While Davis Bertans is sidelined, some other guys need to step up.

Just as the Washington Wizards were starting to get the best version of Davis Bertans again, they’ll be without their three-point specialist for at least two weeks. The Wizards recently announced that Bertans, who played just three minutes in the team’s win over the Utah Jazz, will be out of service as he recovers from a calf strain.

The latest injury news is another unfortunate unfolding in what can only be described as a lost season for Davis Bertans. The beginning of the season was rough for Bertans, who shot below 30 percent from three during December and under 35 percent in January. Since the start of February, though, Bertans has been living up to the big contract he signed in the offseason. In his past 212 games, Bertans has shot 42 percent from three on 6.8 attempts per game. The only players that have hit those marks for the whole season are Paul George, Joe Harris, CJ McCollum, and Zach LaVine, per Stathead.

If Bertans misses the next two weeks, he’ll return on April 3 vs. the Dallas Mavericks and miss seven games. That’s a big blow during a crucial point in the season. The Wizards are three-game out of the final playoff spot and are running out of time to make that ground up. Here are three players that will need to step up while Davis Bertans is out.

Deni Avdija

Deni Avdija has had an up-and-down rookie season, that’s for sure. There have been highs — like starting game one of the season or dumping in 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists vs. Miami — but there have also been lows. Avdija is no longer in the starting lineup, and his early-season success, especially from beyond the three-point line, has stalled out. Avdija shot 43.8 percent and 42.9 percent from three, respectively, during the months of December and January.

Last month, Avdija shot 28.3 percent from behind the arc. Eight games into March, he’s dropped to 25.9 percent. It’s a disturbing trend and one that hopefully doesn’t last too much longer now that the Wizards are without Bertans.

Avdija isn’t a catch-and-shoot player. In the EuroLeague, Avdija was most successful when he facilitated and made things happen with the ball in his hand, not while camped out around the three-point line, waiting to be found by teammates. Maybe Bertans’ absence will free up minutes, open things up a little more, and allow Deni to be Deni. But if the Wizards are committed to keeping him in the corners, he needs to hit the threes when he gets his chances. Now more than ever.