With the Wizards' two best players still sitting out with injuries, somebody is going to have to take over the reins as the go-to guy for Washington until point guard John Wall and center Nene return. It was evident in the Pacers loss on Saturday that the team is searching for that player to step up in crunch time and demand the ball.
Down 87-85 with 20 seconds left at Indiana, no one seemed to want to make an offensive move until Trevor Booker -- not known for his jump shot -- had to take an awkward 10-footer that fell short with 1.2 seconds left. Booker is a solid component of the Wizards’ starting five, but he's probably the fourth or fifth option offensively when it comes to just a normal possession -- so having him take a game-tying shot was not the best choice.
So who are the possible candidates to be the Wizards' go-to guy for now?
Rookie Bradley Beal and Jordan Crawford come to mind right away because they can create their own shots, either running off screens or taking defenders off the dribble.
The rookie Beal is now the team's leading scorer at 13 points a game and is looking extremely confident with his jumper and his penetration to the basket. Beal scored 17 points in the loss to the Pacers and tallied 22 the previous game against Milwaukee. Beal is starting to show why he was the #3 overall pick in the NBA draft.
Crawford is capable of scoring in bunches and he's probably the most fearless offensive player the Wizards have, but right now he's slowed by a sprained ankle, averaging 10 points off the bench.
Center Kevin Seraphin looked capable of getting touches late in games but after two strong outings against the Celtics he's had little impact the last two games as his average has dipped to 10 points.
Wall is out at least until early December with a sore knee and there is still no timetable for the return of Nene because of plantar fasciitis, so there's a great opportunity for someone to step up and assume the scoring load. It's just a matter of who is going to take it?