Troy Brown Jr. finally cracking Wizards rotation

By – The Washington Times – Thursday, March 7, 2019 <p

Over the last four outings, appears to have finally cracked the rotation after being glued to the bench for most of the season.

Why the change?

“Just so you guys wouldn’t ask me the next morning,” Brooks said. “You like white wine or red wine? Whatever you like, you’re probably going to say you like the other if I give it to you.”

Jokes aside, has made enough strides that he’s starting to earn the trust of his head coach. Recently, the 19-year-old replaced Chasson Randle as Washington’s backup point guard — averaging 15 minutes per game.

The Wizards drafted Brown 15th overall with the intention of having him play on the wing, but has experience playing the position in high school.

Before, when wouldn’t play, Brooks said the rookie had to earn his minutes. That didn’t change despite Washington trading away forwards like Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter during the season. Washington still had a logjam at forward, and Brooks seemed more comfortable using Randle at backup point guard.

In all, has appeared in just 34 of Washington’s 64 games this season.

Brooks, though, said the Wizards are “trying to change things up” as they try to make a playoff push.

“He’s earned it,” Brooks said of ’s increased role. “He’s worked hard. He’s challenged himself and coaches have done a good job of making him a better player. He’s going to have some mistakes and he’s going to have to play through some of them.

“I can’t let him play through every single one of them, but he plays through the majority of them. He had a couple of defensive mistakes. But you have to learn from it and he has.”

Tomas Satoransky can empathize with what is going through. The Czech point guard went through his share of growing pains — seeing his minutes fluctuate until Brooks eventually determined he needed to find Satoransky consistent playing time. Satoransky, who has started in place of John Wall, said the biggest challenge in adapting to the NBA is being ready to play on a nightly basis. That means knowing the other team’s personnel and tendencies, learning them through watching film and scouting.

“He has more patience on offense,” Satoransky said. “He’s very talented, not only getting buckets but getting offensive rebounds, passing the ball, getting steals. He’s been doing a little bit of everything lately.”

Against the , made contributions in the areas Satoransky referenced. Along with his nine points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out three assists in 17 minutes. He also had a season-high five assists Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

told reporters after the Timberwolves game that he tried to be an “energy guy” for the Wizards — doing whatever it takes to get minutes.

The Wizards have tried to boost ’s development by sending him to the G-League to play with the Capital City Go-Go. There, Brown averaged nearly 14 shots in 34.4 minutes per game. But for all the back-and-forth between the two leagues, the Oregon product appeared in only 11 games with the Go-Go — meaning he has spent most of the season on the sidelines.

Yet as the season winds down, is finally cracking the court.

“Hopefully, he can get develop because he’s a great kid, hard worker, and we need his help,” Satoransky said.

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