When Scott Brooks sat down postgame Wednesday, he, unprompted, compared the game his team just won to watching paint dry.
It was rough. The Wizards led 41-29…at the half. Washington was on the second night of a back-to-back following a five-game West Coast trip. Memphis is roaring toward the lottery. Those nights are usually the dreary Wednesdays of the NBA season. This one delivered the expected slog.
Washington won, 93-87. John Wall returned. Ian Mahinmi (knee) and Markieff Morris (ankle/groin) sat out.
Three points from the night:
Wall is back. Wall was projected to play around 26 minutes in his first game back after missing nine consecutive games because of injections to relieve inflammation in his left knee. Wall scored 13 points, played 27:37 and pinned a Chandler Parsons dunk attempt. He was 0-for-4 from the free throw line, which irked him. But, overall, the night was a success because he came off the floor feeling good after his return. “When I come off of injury — if I’m going to be out there thinking about it, then that means I don’t need to be out there playing,” Wall said. “I’m limiting myself in what I can do. Thinking about that too much, I’m hurting my teammates, so I just go out there and play basketball and try not to think about it at all.” Wall will get Thursday off before returning to the floor Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Sunday, the Cleveland Cavaliers come to the District. Wall expects to be well situated by then.
Satoransky is now the backup point guard. After playing too well while Wall was gone to prompt a decision otherwise, Tomas Satoransky was inserted Wednesday night as the backup point guard, displacing Tim Frazier, for a night, in the roll. The evening was not Satoransky’s finest. He committed his third foul with 10:52 to play in the second quarter, which put him on the bench until the third. He scored just three points. However, the point here is that he has moved into the rotation as the backup point guard. Brooks said pregame that Satoransky would play, in some fashion, even with Wall back. Brooks was non-committal then on whether that would be as a point guard exclusively. At one point Wednesday, Frazier and Satoransky were on the floor together. Expect Brooks to experiment with that combination a bit going forward.
No Morris or Mahinmi. Markieff Morris missed the game Wednesday because his ankle continues to bother him. Brooks also said that Morris had a groin issue. The official report for why Morris was out listed him as having right hip soreness. “Just going to be real safe,” Brooks said. “That’s why we have a good bench. Mike [Scott] can step in, Jason [Smith] could have stepped in, or we could have played Kelly. They were a bigger team, so we decided to go with the bigger guy [to start], and Mike has been playing well.” Morris said after the game that he expects to play Friday against the Clippers.
Ian Mahinmi was also out Wednesday. Mahinmi missed his second consecutive game because his right knee is bothering him again. Mahinmi said he will have a hard workout Thursday — the rest of the team is off — and is hopeful to play Friday. He worked out before the game Wednesday, but did not play. Mahinmi had just found a rhythm before he had to come out late in the game Dec. 9 in Los Angeles because his knee flared up.