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What Kelly Oubre’s hot start means for the Wizards, and what it doesn’t

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NBA: Preseason-Washington Wizards at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the most surprising thing to emerge from the Wizards' first two preseason games is Kelly Oubre's blistering hot start.

There was a lot of talk during the summer about Oubre embracing the role of a defensive stopper, but oddly enough, he's the team's leading scorer with 40 points through the first two games on just 22 shot attempts. Part of the reason he’s the team’s leading scorer is because he's played more minutes than anyone else on the team other than Tomas Satoransky, and part of that is because the starters have struggled without John Wall in the lineup.

In other words, it's way too early to declare that Oubre is going to be a key scorer for the team this season. It's still too early to say if he's outperforming Otto Porter. But if nothing else, it’s clear that he’s improved from last season.

The thing that sticks out the most is how he's improved handling the ball, which allows him to take more advantage of his speed. Look at how quickly he's able to get into the lane on this play, which allows him to get the shot up before help defense can come in to swat the ball:

His improved handle also allows him to create better passing opportunities like he did on this play:

Now that Oubre is getting better at getting to the lane, the next step is identifying when to avoid putting a shot up that has no chance of going in. He's had four shot of 22 shot attempts blocked so far, including this one against Joel Embiid that a more experienced player would have realized was doomed for failure well before he got the shot up:

The other positive here is that it looks like Oubre has continued to improve on his outside shooting. He's 4-5 on three pointers so far. Of course, that won't keep up during the season, but he should get plenty more opportunities to take threes on catch-and-shoot opportunities, whether he's playing alongside Tomas Satoransky or John Wall.

It's hard to see Kelly Oubre sustaining this kind of performance as we head into the regular season and as he faces stiffer competition. That said, it's already clear he's made improvements and that should serve him and the team well as he takes on a larger role this season.