When Trevor Booker seems to be a lock to earn more playing time, he suddenly gets lost in the rotation. He need not worry, because after Wednesday's win at the Atlanta Hawks, his point guard John Wall did some lobbying for him with coach Randy Wittman.
"He's one of those guys who feels like he should be playing more. The way he's been playing lately i think he definitely should," Wall said after Booker had 12 points, four steals and a block in 24 minutes. "It's just something about him. He always has that energy."
A 20-point lead from the first half dwindled by the third quarter. Booker entered for Marcin Gortat at 6:51 with the Wizards ahead 68-65. Paul Millsap trimmed it to one with a jump shot, and then Booker asserted himself. He buried a 17-footer and then scored on a layup. Booker then hit an 18-footer for a 79-75 lead about four minutes later. He cut to the basket without the ball and threw down an emphatic dunk when Kevin Seraphin found him in stride.
When the third was done, Booker had gone 4-for-4 and extended the lead to 91-83. He didn't score in the fourth but impacted the outcome anyway. Millsap attempted a shot in the lane only to have it blocked by Booker. It led to a transition bucket for Bradley Beal, who threw down a thunderous dunk for a 98-91 lead. The Wizards had finally broken free.
"That's a guy you want on your team, a hard-nose bruiser that does the dirty work. He has improved his game, blocking shots, being able to make plays," Wall said. "I haven't seen him get up like that in along time on the dunk. That (right) knee is starting to feel better."