The atmosphere in Washington is much more upbeat than it was last season, as Troy Haliburton and I recently discussed on the Wizards’ Locked On podcast. Team chemistry is something that’s hard to measure (I’m no body language doctor as Bill Simmons would say), though this year’s edition of the Wizards are noticeably having fun playing basketball and they are outperforming their low expectations that many gave them entering the season.
The Wizards are second in the league on offense entering the night and while the team only has five wins on the season (5-9), many of the losses have been close with three of those by four points or less and a total of six losses by eight points or less.
As the team begins its four-game road trip, let’s take a look at more notes from Washington:
- Moritz Wagner, who is helping the Wizards own one of the better bench units in the NBA, recently admitted to Hoops Rumors and other media in attendance that he has a ways to go on the defensive end. “I’m still learning too. It’s my second year and my first opportunity to actually play,” said Wagner, who came to the Wizards in the Anthony Davis three-way trade this offseason.
- Coach Scott Brooks left Isaiah Thomas and Ish Smith on the floor together in the Wizards’ recent contest against the Kings and Thomas feels the two point guards (both of whom came to the franchise this past offseason) can play together in the future. “I’ve played off the ball in my career a lot, it’s not that different,” Thomas told Hoops Rumors and other media in attendance after Sunday’s game. “It’s a different dynamic. I like playing off the ball, switching it up…Ish is a hell of a guard who changes the pace of the game and definitely finds everybody that is open. Hopefully, we can make that lineup happen a little more because I think it’s dynamic if we get used to playing together.”
- Thomas offered advice for 2018 No. 15 overall pick Troy Brown Jr., who has struggled with his shot recently. “Continue to work, it’s 82 games. You’re going to have good ones, bad ones, going to have a lot of them,” the veteran said. “You’ve got to continue, no matter how good your games are. I always say the best players have the shortest memories, whether good or bad.”