New Wizards forward Mike Scott as a member of the Atlanta Hawks - PHOTO CREDIT: AP Photo/David Zalubowski
Last season the Washington Wizards were one game away from making it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics didn’t allow that. Throughout that series as well as the NBA season in general, it was times when the Wizards bench was outplayed by their opponents. It’s debatable that if they had a solid bench they could have possibly beat Boston and met the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Well, this offseason they’ve added two new free agents, sharpshooter Jodie Meeks and forward Mike Scott.
The Wizards signed Meeks to a two-year, $7 million deal. Last season Meeks struggled to stay fully healthy for the Orlando Magic, but he averaged 9.1 points on 40.9 percent shooting from downtown. With this pick up the Wizards added someone who could bring better shooting from deep coming off the bench. That was one area they struggled in last season, shooting the three as well as the bench play, so Meeks could be somewhat of a spark in both of those areas. Meeks has always been a sharpshooter throughout his career and he still holds the record for the most points ever scored in a Kentucky game, 54. If he can bring some of that to Washington that’ll be a big improvement for their bench. He even scored 42 points once for the Lakers when they played OKC, so he has proven his self as a shooter/scorer in the league.
Mike Scott is also a new edition to the Wizards, he signed a minimum one-year deal with Washington. Scott previously played with Atlanta before being traded to Phoenix but was waived. He is considered a stretch four option and can step outside and knock down the three ball shooting at about 33 percent for his career. His ability to stretch the floor and possibly defend those that do the same gives the Wizards a much needed change of pace in their front court. Washington seems to be looking to address the drop off when it comes to the bench performance when the starters rest and Scott hopefully will help with that. Since he’s entered the league he hasn’t averaged double digit scoring numbers, but his career high of 30 points came in a game against the New York Knicks where he made six three pointers.
With these two players now added to the roster ,the Wizards will look to improve their outside shooting to make them more of a threat and their bench scoring. Playing with John Wall, Meeks as well as Scott will definitely get more open attempts and get the chance to light it up in the Verizon Center. Both players are capable of having big games on any given night and once they catch fire they stay hot. The Wizards are looking to remain one of the top teams in the east and give the Celtics and Cavs a run, having a strong bench is a major key to how far the Wizards will go this upcoming season.