The Washington Wizards got a 97-85 win of the 2019-20 season against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night. Washington is in the middle of a three-game road streak against Western Conference opponents. And many assumed that they would start with an 0-3 record before their home opener next Wednesday, Oct. 30.
But the good news is that this team shows a lot of fight! They held off a late Oklahoma City run when the score was tied 83-all in the fourth quarter. In fact, the Wizards never trailed from the end of the first quarter on!
The highlights are above, but here are some insights from the game.
Stat of the Game: 21-14
The Wizards may not have John Wall on the roster fo the season, but they still dished 21 team assists while limiting the Thunder to just 14 themselves. For a team that has Chris Paul as their starting point guard, that’s a good thing. What’s even more surprising is that Paul only scored 6 points and dished 4 assists while playing 30 minutes.
The Wizards’ assists weren’t concentrated to Ish Smith, who dished 5 assists. The entire starting lineup dished at least two each.
Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura: A Wizards frontcourt of the future?
Young player development will be key this season, so it was very nice to see Bryant lead Washington’s scorers with 21 points and Hachimura added another 19. Both shot a combined 17-of-36 from the field and Bryant shot 3-of-7 from the three point line.
I know, it’s way too early to jump to conclusions. But perhaps Bryant and Hachimura could be one of the better frontcourts in the NBA in the not-too-distant future.
The three-point game is still lacking
The Wizards shot 11-of-41 from three. In fact, very player attempted at least one shot from deep.
That said, the Wizards are just not a very good three-point shooting team right now. It was nice to see Bryant shooting well from deep. But Davis Bertans only shot 3-of-9 from deep which is below average for his standards. Hachimura had a good game overall but he still missed all four of his three-point attempts.
And Bradley Beal shot 3-of-11. Speaking of Beal...
Bradley Beal needs to get out of a slump
Beal shot 7-of-22 from the field for 18 points. Though the Wizards won last night because of his supporting cast’s contributions, he will need a better showing against the Spurs for Washington to get their second win.