Wizards’ Scott Brooks considering starting frontcourt of Thomas Bryant and Bobby Portis
The Washington Wizards lost to the Denver Nuggets Thursday night, 113-108. The team fell to 30-43 on the season. Thomas Bryant and Bobby Portis almost led Washington to an upset win.
Despite Bradley Beal putting up gaudy, All-Star-caliber numbers on a nightly basis, the Wizards don’t quite have the gumption to compete for a playoff spot this season. John Wall has been out since the end of 2018 and will miss nearly an entire calendar year.
All of this has happened before Wall’s supermax extension kicks in next season. He will be paid upwards of $40 million in the final year of the deal.
As such, the Wizards are at a crossroads. They shed some salary before this year’s trade deadline by jettisoning Otto Porter to the Bulls for Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker, but it seems likely that the Wizards will be selecting in the late lottery once again – unless they luck out and win the lottery thanks to flattened odds.
According to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks is thinking about experimenting with a starting frontcourt of bouncy and energetic center Thomas Bryant alongside the fiery stretch four in Portis:
Scott Brooks framed putting Thomas Bryant in the starting lineup alongside Bobby Portis as an experiment, as in the Wizards are in evaluation mode with “some decisions to make” this summer. They are both FAs and had only played 5 total min together before tonight.
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) March 22, 2019
With that announcement, it seems that the Wizards are seemingly throwing in the towel, though the team has perhaps been doing that since Wall went down with an injury.
It’s a shame to see a playoff lock — which the Wizards had been for a number of years — fall so precipitously in such a short time, but such is the way the NBA works these days.
The Wizards, though, should take heart after Thursday night’s game against Denver. Bobby Portis scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds versus the Nuggets. Thomas Bryant posted 18 points and eight boards. That’s a combined 40 points and 16 rebounds against an opponent whose five-point victory earned a temporary tie at the top of the Western Conference standings with the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
If Brooks is considering a move to Bryant and Portis, Thursday likely didn’t change his mind.