On Friday night, the Washington Wizards lost once again to the New Orleans Pelicans 107-118, putting them at a record of 0-5 in the bubble. While the Wizards were able to hang close against the Zion-less Pelicans, they were unable to rebound from a bad third quarter.
The young guys impress once again
On the bright side, some of the younger Wizards played really well. Rui Hachimura put together his best game in the bubble, starting off with nine points in the first quarter and finishing with 23. He did this on 10-16 shooting as well as adding six rebounds and two assists in 37 minutes of play. Hachimura was also able to knock down a few midrange shots, showing that he is expanding his range. If Rui can carry this momentum into next season, he could be a nice third option behind John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Another Wizard that had a good game was Thomas Bryant. He posted a stat line of 22 points, eight rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. The more I see of Thomas Bryant, the more I want to keep him instead of trading him in a package for a big man such as Myles Turner. His three-point shot should be a big part of the offense next season. His ability to be a threat on both the perimeter and at the rim will be crucial for the Wizards next season.
Lastly, Troy Brown Jr. continued his great individual display. He posted a stat line of 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists that displayed his improvement since the restart. Brown’s playmaking ability should be utilized more next season even if it is in a backup role. Brown, like Bryant, should stay beyond this season as they both bring a key dimension that the Wizards will need going forward.
Unfortunately, most Wizards fans were eager about this game because they wanted to see Rui Hachimura go up against No. 1 pick Zion Williamson. The Pelicans decided to rest Williamson tonight as they were on the second night of a back-to-back.
It’s a shame because we have not seen Rui face Zion since both got drafted. This would have been a test for Rui as Zion is regarded as the best player from last year’s draft. The Wizards did not get to face Zion during Summer League as he picked up an injury. Any other chance of a potential meeting was not possible due to the coronavirus.
What’s next for the Wizards?
The Wizards’ last three games are against the Thunder, Bucks, and Celtics. Unless any of those teams rest some of their stars, going 0-8 is a legitimate possibility. Hopefully, the Wizards get a win and build off of the progress the younger players made this summer.