The Wizards went to Japan and played a couple exhibition games against the Golden State Warriors. How you think they performed — as a group, and as individual players — may depend on the strength of your fan goggles prescription.
My goggles may have been fogged up. There was much ballyhoo about the wonders of Rui Hachimura, including from my podcast co-host Ron Oakes-Cunningham. I thought he was decent in both games, but not particularly impressive. The numbers (yes, I ran my PPA metric on the preseason games) had Hachimura as slightly better than average in the first game, and slightly better than that in the second.
If we’re talking letter grades: a C and a C+.
Of course, no fan goggles of any strength could make rookie Johnny Davis look good. He struggled in his first two exhibition appearances much as he did in summer league.
Naturally, this means Davis should immediately be christened the team’s latest bust...just kidding. As I told Ron during the most recent episode of our podcast, there are two basic rules of watching preseason basketball:
- Don’t get too excited about a good game or two or even an entire exhibition schedule, and don’t get too down about a bad game or two or even an entire exhibition schedule.
- Be wary of a “good” performance when one guy is playing hard, and his opponent is not.
In other words, don’t get amped up about a couple decent games from Hachimura, especially considering he was highly motivated to play well in his home country. And don’t rush to call Davis a bust. He hasn’t looked good, but he’s young, and he’s getting an education of what it means to play in the NBA. His willingness to learn and work will determine his NBA future.
During the episode, Ron and I also discussed who will comprise the Wizards rotation, as well as the question of how much Monte Morris and Will Barton might lose because they’re not playing with former Denver Nuggets teammate Nikola Jokic.
Listen here, using the embed below, or wherever you get your podcasts.
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