More changes to Wizards' lineup possible after Davis Bertans struggled

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More changes to Wizards' lineup possible after Bertans struggled originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Through the first two games of their series against the Philadelphia 76ers, head coach Scott Brooks stuck with the starting lineup that got the Wizards there with Raul Neto in for a three-guard set including Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal.

In Game 3, he switched it up by replacing Neto with Davis Bertans. After uneven results from that change, Brooks suggested another shuffle could happen in Game 4 when he addressed the media following Sunday's practice.

"I don’t know what we’re going to do tomorrow as of yet. We have some thoughts, some things are on the table. Either [Bertans] starting or not starting, we’re all going to have to play better," Brooks said.

Bertans had eight points in 31 minutes on 2-of-6 shooting, including 1-for-5 from 3-point range. He made a three in the first quarter, but after that went cold.

That was a step forward from Game 2 when Bertans fouled out scoreless, becoming the first player to do that in an NBA playoff game in six years. But it did not get Bertans going offensively to the degree Brooks had hoped and it also probably came at a cost defensively. The Wizards were lit up from three-point range, allowing nine threes in the first half and 17 in the game. 

Neto gives the Wizards a better chance to defend the perimeter because of his speed. Bertans is not a great defender, but can offset that when his threes are falling. In Game 3, that tradeoff wasn't there because he wasn't scoring.

"It was probably, I would say, it was probably average. It didn’t pay off the way I thought it would. But he did get more shots in the first half, so that’s a plus," Brooks said of Bertans' performance as a starter.

Bertans ended up taking six shots in Game 3 after attempting only four in Game 2. So, he took more but only by a slim margin.

Now, if Brooks does decide to supplant Bertans, which direction he goes could be interesting. Unless he goes back to Neto, Anthony Gill could be the choice, as he got the most meaningful minutes in Game 3 of the likely options.

Chandler Hutchison had previously separated himself in the rotation, but didn't play at all in Game 3. Perhaps he could look at Garrison Mathews, who started 24 games this season, or Isaac Bonga, who started in eight.

Brooks has some options, though none of them ideal for the task at hand. They need somebody to slow down Tobias Harris and provide resistance on the perimeter. Harris is averaging 25.3 points per game while shooting 57.1% overall and 45.5% from three in the series so far.