Wizards Need to Add Another Guard


There are a number of reasons as to why the Washington Wizards are currently on a five-game losing streak.

As a whole, the team’s first-half defense for the first four games was extremely poor, as they allowed at least 50 points in the first half in each game. At the same time, the offense wasn’t faring much better, as the team constantly got behind in double-digits, only to have to try to climb back into the game in the second half.

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Marcin Gortat had not played well up until last night, when head coach Randy Wittman decided to not put him in the game in the fourth quarter until under five minutes left, and John Wall had missed some practice time with migraines and an ankle injury. And the veterans on the team, well they have just looked worn out at times.

Then you have the bench, which has underwhelmed since the start of the new year, particularly at the point guard position.

At first, it was a no-brainer. Wittman would turn to Andre Miller toward the end of the first quarter and the first four or five minutes of the second quarter (same for the third and fourth quarters) to keep the offense moving with Wall on the bench.

And while we’ve seen some great plays from the 38-year-old Miller during his brief time with the Wizards, including at the beginning of this season, the magic hasn’t been there as of late.

Miller hasn’t seen the court since Jan. 31 when he only logged three minutes. He hasn’t logged double-digit minutes since Jan. 27 against the Los Angeles Lakers and is only averaging 3.6 points and 2.8 assists per game. In fact, Miller hasn’t dished out more than three assists since Jan. 09 against the Bulls and hasn’t scored in double figures since Jan. 05 against the Pelicans.

His lack of speed is a big defensive liability against opponents with talented backup point guards, and his lack of an outside shot hinders what he does with the ball when he’s not in the paint.

Dec 16, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Shabazz Muhammad (15) shoots and is fouled by Washington Wizards guard Garrett Temple (17) during the second quarter at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Because of Miller’s lack of production, Wittman has turned to Garrett Temple. While Temple is a bigger and more versatile player who is more than capable defensively, he’s not exactly the player you want running the offense.

He can shoot the ball well, yes, but up until Monday night’s loss to Charlotte, Temple had not seen consistent, productive minutes since November.

Like Miller, Temple is only averaging 3.3 points a game and just under one assist per game at 0.9.

There’s no question about his work ethic, but for a team clearly in need of a backup point guard, Temple fits better at a backup two position.

One free agent, and really the only one worth looking at for point guards, is Nate Robinson. While he’s short in size and has been a journeyman throughout his NBA career, he’s experienced and has shown that he can come into games and completely change the momentum with his energy and hustle.

He’s scrappy on defense and can put up points in a hurry if needed.

But if the Wizards opt to trade players instead of testing the free agent market, they’ll need to do so quickly. The trade deadline is Feb. 19 and they’ll have to try to find a buyer who will want either Miller or Temple, as well as someone or something else most likely.

When you’re winning, holes in a team can be overlooked. But when you’re losing and quickly dropping in the standings, those holes become more apparent. And the Wizards hole at the backup point guard position is under a big microscope right now.