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Wizards enjoying solid bench play

The Wizards finally have a bench that can hold leads, but is this Washington team really as good as their 7-2 record says?

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

1. Wizards' second unit is impressing

Throughout the season, there have been a slew of bench players entering and leaving their marks on games. That's what the fans see. But like anything else, it all starts with what goes on in practice. The second team is apparently showing up the starters in scrimmages.

"We've been putting on them actually," reserve big man Kris Humphries said with a smirk followingWashington's win over the Orlando Magic Saturday night. "They may not admit to it though, so don't bring that back to me. They get a little sensitive."

I doubt the same could have ever been said about last season's bench unit.

2. How good are the Wizards?

They're off to their best start since the 1974-75 season, but so far only beating up on struggling teams. Granted, they lost to below-average teams somewhat frequently last season, so it's a positive in any case, to get wins. Their only two losses came against the only two teams with a record above .500. Is this a worrying trend? This week will be a great test and should give us some idea of an answer to that question.

3. Otto Porter showing up again

The surprising arrival of Rasual Butler in Randy Wittman's rotation has forced Porter to become a little less of a threat on the offensive end, while still getting minutes for his work on the defensive side of the ball. Against the Magic, though, the two combined to be a lethal combination off the bench in the fourth quarter to keep Orlando at bay. Porter's contributions offensively played a major role in the team's win.

4. Is the team's defense improving?

In the Wizards' last game, the big men stepped out and forced Orlando's guards into taking contested jumpers instead of hanging back and allowing them to drive in and get shots closer to rim. Everyone seemed to be more connected defensively than in recent performances, where the team has been frequently scorched by backcourt players. They didn't allow that to happen against the Magic, but will it stay this way?

5. Relive the win

The victory against the Magic gave the Wizards their fourth straight home win and one of their best starts in franchise history. Check out a couple more of those recaps from around the Wizards community.

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