It is unfortunate that five-time All-Star point guard John Wall is sidelined following knee surgery, but on the bright side, the Washington Wizards may have uncovered a gem of a player in Tomas Satoransky as he replaces Wall in the starting lineup. On the season, Satoransky is averaging a modest 6 points, 3 assists, and 2.4 rebounds per game in 18.1 minutes, but in his last eight games as a starter, his numbers have skyrocketed.
The former Spanish League point guard is averaging 11.8 points, 5.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in 27.4 minutes per game. To go along with his 6-2 record in the starting lineup, Satoransky is shooting an efficient 56.7 percent from the field and 68.4 percent (13-of-19) from beyond the arc. Despite leaving Saturday’s win following a hard fall at the hands of Bobby Portis, the 6-7 point guard had a career-night with 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc to go with six assists in 37 minutes.
“Yeah, I think so,” Brooks said about if teams give Satoransky space at the three-point line. “Until he can prove it, and he has. This year, he’s really worked on it, he’s shooting it at a high percentage, over 40 percent. He takes good shots. They put two on the ball with Brad[ley Beal] a lot and he benefits from that. He’s good at his catch and go’s and right now he’s shooting the ball well. Hopefully, that continues.”
Last season, Satoransky struggled to shoot from beyond the arc in his limited playing time. Throughout the entire season, he was only 9-of-37 (24.3 percent) from deep, but so far this season he is already 28-of-58 (48.3 percent) from three-point territory. Head coach Scott Brooks has praised the 26-year old’s work ethic as he always comes in to put up shots even when the team has off days. Satoransky worked his tail off to improve his three-point shot and he is now reaping the benefits.
“Yeah, I think you play by the scouting,” Satoransky said about teams giving him space from outside. “I wasn’t shooting the three-point shot particularly well last season. I can feel sometimes they switching the strategy throughout the game based on how I shoot it from the beginning or in the pick and rolls. But, obviously, when you have so many great shooters on the floor, they will try to go [away] from me a little bit more.”
On Saturday, Chicago gave Satortansky all kinds of room to shoot and he made the most of it. Here is the space he had to shoot on his career-high five three-pointers. Some of it was the result of good ball movement, while some was the result of the defense living with a three-pointer from someone not named Bradley Beal or Otto Porter Jr. Even if there was a defender in the vicinity, they did not get a hand up to truly contest the shot attempt.