Washington Wizards Dealing With Bench Woes Once Again

BOSTON, MA - MAY 15: Ian Mahinmi
BOSTON, MA - MAY 15: Ian Mahinmi /

The Washington Wizards hoped point guard Tim Frazier would be the answer to back up superstar John Wall, but he’s yet to impress.

Washington Wizards four-time All-Star John Wall missed two games this season due to injuries. Wall, who first missed the first meeting between the two teams in Toronto on Nov. 5, missed the second meeting with a knee injury, per Wizards head coach Scott Brooks.

As a result, backup point guard Tim Fraizer made his second start of the season in place for Wall. Although Frazier recorded eight assists in each of his two starts, points come at a minimum. In his two starts, Frazier scored a combined 10 points.

Most recently, Frazier attempted just four field goals in 35 minutes with four turnovers, second highest for the Wizards to Bradley Beal. However, Frazier isn’t the only person at fault though for the Wizards cringeworthy defense.

According to Hoopsstats.com, the Wizards bench holds a -6.2 efficiency recap difference (deff), which ranks No. 24 among NBA benches entering Friday’s slate of NBA games.

Consequently, the Wizards bench ranks near the bottom of other NBA statistical categories including:

  • 23rd in NBA efficiency recap (33.8)
  • 22nd in minutes (16.9)
  • 21st in points (30.8)
  • 24th in rebounds (14.6)
  • 26th in assists (5.8)
  • 20th in steals (2.7)
  • 27th in blocks (1.2)
  • 10th in personal fouls (9.8)

Evidently, the Wizards second team of Frazier, Jodie Meeks, Kelly Oubre Jr., Mike Scott and Ian Mahinmi has not generated much production thus far this season. However, the Wizards backup center Ian Mahinmi is arguably the biggest reason for the bench struggles thus far in 2017.

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Mahinmi, 31,  signed to a four-year deal worth $64 million with the Wizards during the 2016 offseason, averages just three points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 turnovers per game in 18 games played. Even more mind-boggling is the fact that Mahinmi has played 18 games, while proven veteran forward/center Jason Smith has appeared in just seven games.

Smith, 31, continues to ride the pine as of late and hasn’t been called upon to play by Wizards coach Scott Brooks in five of the last six games. Furthermore, the 7-foot center has appeared in consecutive games just twice this season. It’s difficult for any NBA player to produce when you don’t get any type of consistent playing time.

Certainly, Oubre Jr. shines brightest of the second unit in the midst of his best NBA season since the Wizards drafted him No. 15 overall in the 2015 NBA draft. On the other hand, Meeks is suffering his worst three-point shooting percentage (27.6 percent) of his eight-year career.

Next: 4 Wizards Named to Bleacher Report’s NBA Top 100 Players

Ultimately, if the Washington Wizards bench proceeds to generate lackluster results, Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld will have his hands full leading up to the NBA trade deadline. The Washington Wizards bench woes remain unsolved.