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 Isaac Bonga.
Washington Wizards Isaac Bonga. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports /

Isaac Bonga

When Davis Bertans was unavailable for most of the game vs. the Utah Jazz, Isaac Bonga stepped up in his absence. If that game was any indication of how the team plans to operate without Bertans, prepare for a lot more Isaac Bonga.

In the win over the Jazz on March 18, Bonga played 18 minutes, the most he’s played since he logged 18:14 in a January 27 loss to the Pelicans. As the season has progressed, Bonga has seen his role diminish greatly. Through January, Bonga appeared in 13 of the team’s 16 games and averaged 13.3 minutes in each contest. Since then, he has all but disappeared, playing in only 12 of the 24 games. Since February 1, Bonga is averaging just nine minutes per contest.

To some fans, that may be a welcome sign. Bonga is often one of the most frustrating players to watch on the offensive end. Against Utah, he scored twice from the field, and that’s a lot for him. It was just the fifth time all season, and the first time since January 24, Bonga finished a game with more than one made field goal. But Bonga isn’t out there to put up points.

This season, the Wizards’ defensive rating with Bonga on the floor is 100.0. When he steps to the bench, it explodes up to 116.0, per NBA.com. 100.0 is by far the lowest defensive rating associated with any single Wizards player, and the 16-point swing per 100 possessions is by far the biggest net difference, too. Bonga might not make many offensive highlights, but he does one thing that not many on this Wizards team do, and even fewer do well. He plays defense, and he gets stops. The numbers do not lie.