• Josh Kamuhanda

#WizardsWeekly – Week 4

Fernando Medina, NBAE via getty images

Growth precedes success. A couple weeks ago, the Wizards took on the Timberwolves at home. Without their star franchise guy Karl-Anthony Towns, the Wolves waxed the Wizards, 131-109. Their #2 option Andrew Wiggins is having his best year and finished with a team-high 21 points. In week 4 of our series, the Wiz flew to Minneapolis to face a healthier Wolves mob and handed them a 21-point L. Wiggins was out. Growth…kinda.

Washington is still a bottom feeder in today’s league, one of two teams looking for their fourth win. They’re still among the top offensive teams in the league, scoring 118 points a game (good for 3rd in the league) and toting an offensive rating of 113.2 (2nd), courtesy of TeamRankings.com.

What hasn’t improved is the defense. The Wizards are last in the league in points allowed per game and defensive rating (…attendance too but the city’s sleeping off those Mystics/Nats championship hangovers). All that success on offence is in vein if you can’t stop anyone.

For a 3-8 team in the easy-as-pie Eastern Conference, there must be some growth, somewhere – right?

For this week’s edition of #WizardsWeekly we’re switching things up. Instead of the boring recollection of the week’s happenings, we got a few storylines for you to watch.

Beal is having funnnnnn

– He’s laughing, talking trash, chirping with refs. Brad has come alive in week four, dropping 44 in consecutive games. He’s averaging 41 points, eight assists, and five rebounds a game while shooting 59% from the field and 48% from three. That’s MEAN.

– At one point against the Timberwolves, Beal scored 12 straight points in spite of a couple missed foul calls. It seemed like the missed calls just added more logs on the fire. He finished with 16 in the quarter. That’s a busy 12 minutes.

Team chemistry is growing, especially in the front-court.

– Davis Bertans, Moe Wagner, Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant are growing individually within this offense and are learning to have confidence in each other’s games. Bertans and Wagner, specifically, connected on a couple pick-and-rolls and

– MOE SWAG just had the game of his young career, dropping 30 and 15 in Minnesota, shooting 87% vs a healthy Karl-Anthony Towns. If those Wagner pick and rolls look that good with Ish Smith, Beal, Brown Jr. and Bertans, imagine how Wall would do. Marcin Gortat was a leader in the screen game a few years ago, and Wagner has Gortat’s frame with nimble feet. “I didn’t do anything special…I rolled,” Wagner said postgame. “Might have to do that more often.” Uh, duh. He just needs to stop hacking. He’s 10th in the league at 3.9 fouls a game.

The Wizards have enough offense to keep them in every game, but their defense could turn a common cold to a coma.

– Just had to reiterate this point before we moved on.

Quotes of the week:

– “It’s not a secret: We have to be better defensively. We have a good group of guys that want to be good defenders, but it takes time.” – Coach Scott Brooks

– “You got to come out with a mentality to protect home court. I think we all got to look ourselves in the mirror and take that very seriously, [because it’s a problem].” – Moe “Swag” Wagner

After going 1-2 in their first two three-game road trips this year, they’ll look to protect home court Wednesday night vs. the Spurs.

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