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Five Wizards-related things I’m thankful for

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, there’s plenty to be thankful for as Wizards’ fans this year.

Charlotte Hornets v Washington Wizards
Kispert and Harrell helping Beal up off the floor
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

On this week’s Bleav in Wizards podcast, we listed a few of the Wizards-related things we are thankful for this year. We also covered who needs to step up more in the clutch, Bradley Beal’s next contract (he could earn up to 5 years / $241.6M), how long we should expect for it take the offense to gel, and players not knowing the plays and being “complacent” after 17 games. Plus, we even opened up the show with a Capital City Go-Go update for everyone asking for it.

For this post, I’d just like to focus on the things to be thankful for. Mostly, because I want to hear in the comments section about what you’ve most enjoyed this season. We don’t often get much to celebrate as Washington basketball fans so we might as well take full advantage of the team’s strong start.

1) Montrezl Harrell

He’s arguably been the team’s best player overall and he’s certainly become a crowd favorite for his effort and energy. Listening to him postgame explain how his rebounding prowess is purely based off will and effort gives me tingles. We simply have not had many players like Harrell come through Washington.

Charlotte Hornets v Washington Wizards
Harrell screaming during a game against the Hornets
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

At the time of this writing, he’s fourth in the entire league in win shares and first overall in offensive rating. I’m grateful we get to watch this guy compete on a nightly basis.

2) Likability of the roster

It’s always easy to root for a winner. It’s even easier to wrote for a winning team that’s made up of likable guys. There are a lot of fun and unique personalities on this team and it’s led to some really cool moments off the court.

Who doesn’t get a kick out of Harrell and Bradley Beal teaming up for postgame interviews? That’s just good, wholesome content. And I had never heard of plant-based protein shakes before but listening to Spencer Dinwiddie talk about them while asking for free shipments of them is just entertaining.

(Author’s note: I, too, like free stuff if anyone has some hook-ups.)

3) The Capital City Go-Go

It’s looking more and more likely that the Wizards will not be picking in the lottery anytime soon (*knocks on wood*). As an NBA Draft enthusiast, that gives me a lot less to look forward to in terms of scouting prospects. But luckily, there are guys right here in D.C. that can be evaluated.

Capital City Go-Go v Maine Celtics
Walker driving against the Maine Celtics
Photo by Rich Obrey/NBAE via Getty Images

Seeing the game-to-game growth of Isaiah Todd will be really fun to track. Kyree Walker has one of the most unique stories of anyone trying to break into the NBA and is worth following. Will Jordan Goodwin’s shooting continue to improve? Is Cassius Winston a potential replacement for Raul Neto next season? These are all extra Wizards-centric storylines we can follow courtesy of the G League.

4) Wes Unseld Jr.

Yes, it’s cathartic to be able to finally watch a Wizards team play defense again. Naturally, Unseld Jr. deserves some credit for that. But his overall approach has just been a breath of fresh air.

When asked how he stays so calm he said, “I just look calm, I’m not calm at all.” I have a lot of respect for a coach who can keep his game-face on but is clearly taking it personally when the team doesn’t play well. And when was the last time a Wizards’ coach has said, “I got outcoached tonight” after a loss? (Yes, that is a shot at his predecessor).

Everything about the way he carries himself screams professionalism and I’m here for it.

5) Getting the rest of our guys back shortly

“I’d be lying if I said we didn’t miss those guys,” said Bradley Beal when asked about the absence of Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant, and Davis Bertans. I miss them too.

Charlotte Hornets v Washington Wizards
Hachimura and Bryant talking before a game
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

I’m really looking forward to seeing what this team looks like with it’s full complement of players and that day seems to be approaching quickly. Bertans seems mostly recovered, Hachimura is getting on the court for limited stretches in team practices, and Bryant is ramping up his activity as well. They’ve been great so far but it’s exciting to see what they can do at full strength.

Bonus answer: all of you

Our little community is at least a little dysfunctional but I’m incredibly thankful I get to be a part of it. From all of us at Bullets Forever, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!