10 good reasons to follow the Washington Wizards this season

Who says resumption of the NBA season says need for motivation. And who says need for motivation says…? Find good reasons! For each team of the 2022-23 season, we wanted to be useful, helpful, and a little funny if the subject allows it. Here are the 10 good reasons to follow the Washington Wizards over the next few months, between promises and Fashion Week.

#1: The Beal-Porzingis connection

We haven’t seen them together much yet. Blame it on the injuries, these damn injuries, which poison the life of Bradley Beal but especially that of Kristaps Porzingis (respectively 40 and 17 games played last season in the DC jersey, knowing that KP arrived during the season). This inter-external axis is however full of potential with a Bealou who is still as strong in scoring but also more and more managerial and able to release the ball to his teammates, and a Krisprolls who shoots from afar, creates spaces for the other players but also provides an anchor inside. Unfortunately, the injury mode is not deactivated and both players are morfling. The automatics have yet to be found, especially since a certain Kyle Kuzma is also in the equation. We hope to be able to observe this association over at least sixty games, to see how far Washington can really go with this duo.

#2: Drew Gooden on commentary

Retired since 2016 after three seasons at the end of the race with the Wizards, Drew Gooden now officiates behind the microphone, as a commentator, for the franchise of the capital. It was necessary to take over from Phil Chenier, much appreciated by the Wiz’ fanbase, which was not easy. Some positives, like his knowledge of the game, are undeniable but overall there are more critics than positive messages against him. However, his duet with Justin Kutcher was promising, the latter almost made us lose his voice after the colossal shots of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook against the Nets. Since leaving, Kutcher has been replaced by Chris Miller, we wish Drew Gooden – third of the name – even more success in his new duo.

#3: Deni Avdija’s progress

At the dawn of his third year in the League, Deni Avdija will be scrutinized closely. The Israeli comes out of two promising seasons, but whose statistical contribution does not reflect that of a type selected with the 9th draft pick in 2020. Avdija is part of this promising young core of the Wizards and must try to make a difference to be the man for the job on the wing. With the return of the Japanese Rui Hachimura and the arrival of Will Barton (without forgetting Corey Kispert), Avdija is not at all guaranteed to be the starter for position 3. He absolutely has to pull out of the game and surf on the wave of his successful EuroBasket 2022, at least on an individual level with 14.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, to hope to be among the first choices of Wes Unseld Jr.. He is capable of it, so let’s follow it closely.

#4: The first real season for Wes Unseld Jr.

Obviously, the son of the late Wes Unseld was already in charge last season, but had to deal with a decimated workforce. The wrist for Bradley Beal, the knee for Kristaps Porzingis and Thomas Bryant, a big burnout for Rui Hachimura… In short, it was a real mess, all the more so when you add the trades of Montrezl Harrell and Spencer Dinwiddie, respectively at Charlotte and Dallas. Today, the young manager has all his players, and has even added Will Barton and Monte Morris to the equation. The workforce is complete and has strengthened well, and it will be very interesting to see how the coach will articulate his rotations.

#5: Kyle Kuzma’s Pre-Game Looks

Never the last to feed his Instagram account with outfits all more incredible than each other, Kyle Kuzma will be eagerly awaited in the corridors of the Capital One Arena. Whether it’s a size 7XL pink sweater, a grandma’s curtain-patterned suit or a « potato bag » tank top at Paris Fashion Week 2022, the former Lakers tries experiments, at the risk and peril of the vision of spectators and television viewers. A spotlight on the Wizards franchise, which however prefers that it translates into the field…

#6: Kyle Kuzma in money-time

…because yes, summarizing Kyle Kuzma in a style as crazy as weird would be very reductive, as the winger was so important for the Washington franchise last season. 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, a very good reason to have hope in the doldrums of DC. But above all, Double K has proven that he is always one of those who wants to take (and put) the important shots at the end of the match. Already seen at the Lakers, this gene is apparent in the franchise of the capital. Facing the Pistons, facing the Cavaliers, or even facing the Sixers in defense thanks to this counter on Joel Embiid, Kuzma allowed the Sorcerers to leave with some unexpected victories.

#7: Corey Kispert bombing in the corner

Coming out of Gonzaga College, Corey Kispert is known for being a head duck shooter who shot 44% from long range during his senior season with the Zags, all on more than 6 attempts per game. At the dawn of his second season in the League, the shooting winger will have to let go of the horses. After a correct first season but no more than 35% from the Capitol, we will have to do even better to represent a real external threat for the opponents of the Wizards and to rule out the game. With 23 minutes of play in 2021-22, Kispert enters clearly in the plans of his coach, and could well see his role develop a little more over the coming season. On the 2-3 positions off the bench, Kispert will have his minutes, and it will be up to him to use them wisely, as competition is tough in DC this season. With Will Barton, Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura and rookie Johnny Davis able to play on the wings, places are expensive.

#8: Taj Gibson’s pies to young people

From the height of his 117 years, Taj Gibson left for a tour in the NBA, in order to distribute mandals out of the bench to impertinent interiors wishing to venture into his racket. His role as a breaker, he could also have it in his own team. In a workforce with young people with high potential, the former Bulls and Knicks in particular, will play a role of mentor for Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija, Monte Morris or even Johnny Davis. Suffice to say that at certain times, the twisters will be out. Taj is well aware that he will not have 35 minutes per evening, but he knows it, and that suits him very well. No doubt he will convince Wes Unseld Jr. to give him a few minutes thanks to his defense, his aggressiveness and his leadership.

#9: A true management leader in Monte Morris

Last year, the Wizards had Spencer Dinwiddie to lead in the capital. Party with the Mavs since, he left position 1 almost abandoned, but that time is now over with the arrival of Monte Morris from Denver (like Will Barton). The managerial profile of the former Nuggets sticks much better to this workforce which already has its three gondola heads in attack with Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma. Morris knows how to score (10 career average points) but will not vampirize the game and will serve his three acolytes in heated leather chairs. Guys like Barton precisely, but also Rui Hachimura, Johnny Davis and Corey Kispert who will also benefit from the passing quality of their new leader to be able to score in the best possible conditions.

#10: Kristaps’ goatee, according to the Pau Gasol theorem

Even though he failed to qualify Latvia for EuroBasket 2022, Kristaps Porzingis has donned the national team tunic for the first time since… EuroBasket 2017! The elusive interior seemed to have regained form… and also let its goatee grow. Far be it from us to play Cristina Cordula here, but we just think that the most famous European interior who sports this kind of facial hair is none other than a certain… Pau Gasol. The Spanish interior was happy to dismember all the defenses that crossed its path with this beard that we did not know from the Latvian. As long as he doesn’t stick us with 40 points at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, that’s fine with us.

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