CLEVELAND ¡ª Tomas Satoransky wasn¡¯t making a statement.
Although he had learned hours before Thursday night¡¯s game in Cleveland that the Washington Wizards had signed another point guard, Satoransky, the resident starter, did not use this knowledge as motivation for his near-flawless performance against the Cavaliers.
Earlier in the day, the Wizards finalized a long-anticipated roster move by signing Ramon Sessions to a 10-day contract. And yet Satoransky continued his strong play while replacing injured point guard John Wall. In 31 minutes against the Cavaliers, Satoransky made 6 of 7 shots for 17 points and remained steady as a ball handler with eight assists and no turnovers.
¡°I didn¡¯t think of it as a statement,¡± the second-year player said following the Wizards¡¯ 110-103 win, the team¡¯s eighth in its last 10 games. ¡°I just wanted to play hard and win the game.¡±
The Wizards (34-24) now have three healthy point guards?on the roster, including Tim Frazier, who played nearly 12 minutes on Thursday. Satoransky sees this glut of guards as a?positive, especially considering how Sessions played parts of two seasons in Washington (2014-16) and has a familiarity with several players in the locker room.
¡°I think it¡¯s good we have another player that can give us something different, especially when we have a free spot on the roster,¡± Satoransky said. ¡°He knows well the club, he¡¯s already played here. He¡¯s got a good relationship with [the Wizards], so let¡¯s see. Hopefully he can help us.¡±
Sessions will be available for the team¡¯s home game against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday,?but Satoransky¡¯s position as the starter should remain unchallenged. In the last 10 games, Satoransky has averaged 12.0 points on 58.7 percent shooting to go with 6.1 assists and 3.3 rebounds. He¡¯s growing in assertiveness and?earning?more respect in the locker room.
¡°No turnovers, that¡¯s great. That is awesome,¡± Bradley Beal said of Satoransky¡¯s night. ¡°We don¡¯t want John out, but with him being out, [Satoransky¡¯s] playing a lot of minutes, he¡¯s gaining more confidence in himself and that¡¯s exciting to see. He was drafted with me, so I¡¯m happy to see my boy come in and do what he do best.¡±
Even so, Satoransky isn¡¯t fulfilled.?At times, he sees himself as playing too conservatively as a pass-first point guard. Satoransky believes he still needs to find the balance between games like Thursday and nights like Feb. 5, when he attempted just three shots but finished with six assists in a win over the Indiana Pacers.
¡°I think I¡¯m improving in that, like in Chicago or New York or even today, but still sometimes I¡¯m looking too much for the pass,¡± Satoransky said.?¡°Don¡¯t give defenses advantages?to play?me as a passer, that¡¯s one thing I want to improve.¡±
The Wizards may feel more stable?by adding a veteran like Sessions, however Satoransky¡¯s improvement?continues to comfort and impress?his teammates.
¡°It¡¯s just amazing to see his development,¡± Beal said. ¡°Constantly game in and game out, puts in the work every day and [he¡¯s] showing it on the floor.¡±