Before the game, it was announced that back ups Martell Webster and Kevin Seraphin would not play due to soreness. Webster and Seraphin have been a key bench contributors and tonight proved that without them, Washington has serious rotational problems.
Against Memphis, the Wizards’ bench was unable to get anything going. Washington had five players come off the bench. Together, those five players had 14 PT, 5 REB and 1 AST. Memphis was able to get the best of Washington by limiting the Wizards’ bench productivity. Washington will need to have a consistent performance from their bench if the team wants to get out of the first round of the playoffs.
Drew Gooden, who is currently on a 10-day contract, got his second chance to play against the Grizzles on Monday. In both games, Gooden has been held scoreless and has missed all eight of his shot attempts. Gooden was brought in by Washington to help with the bench production while Trevor Booker starts in Nene Hilario‘s absence. So far, Gooden has not lived up to the expectations set for him.
Washington’s bench must also address the problem of poor rebounding, which has lead to the team getting hurt in transition. The bench only had five rebounds against the Grizzles. Washington needs to focus on improving its rotation immediately. Gooden might not be Washington’s guy, he only had one rebound in almost six minutes on Monday. When his 10-day contract runs up, the Wizards should look at other forwards that the team could possibly sign to help Washington’s playoff push.
The Wizards can’t afford to rely heavily on their starters every game. Bench production is a problem in Washington and it was apparent on Monday night. Washington needs their bench to step up every night for the franchise to continue winning.