The first time Bradley Beal went out with an injury Randy Whittman replaced him in the starting lineup with Garrett Temple. That move didn’t sit well with Jordan Crawford who sulked his way out of the rotation and eventually into a trade. This go round Whittman decided to start Trevor Ariza instead of Temple and the Washington Wizards proceeded to lose the first two games without Beal. On Saturday, Whittman went back to Temple in the starting lineup and the Wizards ran the Charlotte Bobcats out of the gym.
Maybe Whittman didn’t want to run into the same situation with Ariza that he did previous with Crawford. Maybe Whittman truly believed the better chance to win was with Ariza in the lineup. Whatever the case, he needed to go back to the lineup with Temple and he finally did.
Ariza is veteran who understands and has settled into his role with this team. Injuries to key players will upset established roles but the Wizards already had a blueprint for how to handle a Beal injury. Whittman just decided to ignore the blueprint and it cost his team, twice. Having Ariza in the starting lineup instead of coming off the bench also hurt the Wizards with bench scoring. Other than Ariza the Wizards have no consistent scoring threat once Whittman does go to his reserves.
Whittman needs to stick with what works for his team. They have been playing pretty solid basketball since late January, with a few exceptions. Changing up roles and rotations at this point is unnecessary. Granted, it might not have mattered what lineup he went with against the Bobcats.