Talk about an improvement last season. In his three years with the San Antonio Spurs, Davis Bertans did go from playing 12 minutes per game to 22 minutes a game while almost doubling his scoring production (4.5 points per game to eight). That didn’t exactly prepare us though for what he did last season.
Bertans seemingly got a new lease on life following his move to Washington and we saw an entirely new player. The forward did play, on average, an additional eight minutes per game compared to the year prior but his production improved exponentially.
Washington unleashed Bertans and he was elevated into a larger role within the offense than he was previous used to. Bertans repaid that confidence by averaging 15.4 points per game with mixing in 4.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. The main difference was that Bertans went from making 1.9 three-pointers a game up to 3.7. Now in DFS the points count just the same but I would certainly prefer my players taking shots that are worth an additional point.
Bertans sat out the restart portion of the NBA season as he prepared himself for free agency. That move paid off for him as Washington committed five years and $80 million to the 28-year old forward as they re-signed him.
Given the Wizards’ commitment to Bertans, at a complete minimum, his role will remain unchanged from last season. My excitement for Bertans though is also based on the return of John Wall.
Last season the Wizards had the likes of Ish Smith running the point in what is a clear downgrade from a player of Wall’s caliber. The fact that Washington was in the playoff conversation even without Wall speaks to the state of the Eastern Conference so the Wizards are well within their rights to think a playoff berth is a plausible expectation.
When we last saw Wall in the 2018-19 season, the point guard averaged 20.7 points and 8.7 assists per game. That is game changing production and something Washington clearly missed last season. Having a dynamic point guard with Wall’s skill set will make the whole offense better and Bertans is going to be a large piece of that.
In Bertans’ last six games of the season he averaged 20 points per game as a sneak peak of what might be coming this season. Not to state the obvious but during that stretch Bertans averaged 13.2 shots per game compared to the 11.3 he averaged on the season. There is room in Washington’s offense for his workload to increase and Wall should only serve to push the pace of play and generate more shot opportunities for Bertans.
Behind Wall and Bradley Beal, Bertans appears to be shaping up as a solid third/fourth option along side Rui Hachimura. Moving forward the second-year forward likely has more potential from an athleticism perspective but we can’t discount Bertans ability as a shooter. Between Wall and Beal the pace of play will be there and Bertans is needed to help space out the floor.
From a DFS perspective staying in Washington coupled with the return of Wall is a positive development for Bertans.
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