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Bonga's top three performances of the season so far
In his second season in the league and his first with the Wizards, Isaac Bonga has shown flashes as one of the most versatile players on the team. At 20 years old, one of the youngest players in the league, Bonga’s outlook is still mostly based on potential, but he’s shown versatility that coaches look for in players of his profile. A rangy defender who guards multiple positions nearly every game, Bonga has utilized his long arms to disrupt passing lanes and blocks shots all season. He’s even shown an ability to shoot consistently from beyond the arc. Below is a look at Bonga’s three best performances of the season so far.
3. January 23, 2020 at Cleveland9 PTS / 5 REB / 3-3 (1.000) FG / +21 in 22 MINS
Bonga’s performance against the Cavaliers was a perfect example of the short-burst impact he can have on a game. Bonga checked into the game for the first time with 7:29 left in the first quarter and the Wizards trailing by double digits. He played the remainder of the opening frame and was +15 in that time, sparking a 10-0 run and helping swing Washington from a 12-point deficit to a lead. Bonga did most of his scoring in the third quarter, totaling six of his nine points. He scored on a driving and-one floater and hit a corner three over Cleveland’s Kevin Love to put the Wizards up 17 late in the third. Bonga finished the game 3-3 (1.000) from the field and +21 in just 22:29 of action.
2. January 4, 2020 vs. Denver15 PTS / 4 REB / 5-6 (.833) FG
Washington’s win over the Nuggets, due mostly in part to a 92-point showing from the team’s reserves, came with six players out due to injury, including top scorers Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans and Rui Hachimura. Bonga was one of four bench players to score in double figures, totaling a then-career-high 15 points on 5-6 (.833) from the field, his first of two consecutive games scoring 10-plus points.
Bonga did most of damage in the fourth quarter, playing all 12 minutes, scoring eight points on 3-3 (1.000) from the field to go along with three of his four total rebounds and a block. The second-year wing scored consecutive baskets with just under 10 minutes to go, the second of which started an 11-0 run that launched the Wizards to a 14-point win.
"He was more forceful,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said of Bonga postgame. “He was taking, absorbing, contacting and going through it. He got to the free-throw line. His cuts, he wasn't settling for a jump shot, he was cutting, he was catching, going when he has the opportunities. He plays hard. He's still one of our guys, young and developing. [He's] just going to have to just keep chipping away on that growth chart and I thought tonight he got better."
1. February 12, 2020 at New York Knicks13 PTS / 5 REB / 3 AST / 2 BLK / 2 STL / 3-3 (1.000) 3P / 82.9 DRT
The Wizards’ 18-point win over the Knicks in mid-February featured just 14 minutes of play from Bonga, but was perhaps the best example of the do-it-all nature of his game. Bonga finished with 13 points, most of which came from beyond the arc. He shot 3-3 (1.000) from deep, his third game of the season with multiple 3-pointers made without a miss. Bonga scored from all over the court, hauling in an alley-oop from Bradley Beal, hitting a pair of corner threes, converting on an unassisted transition layup and hitting another three in the final minute of the game. His greatest impact, however, came in filling out the rest of the box score. Bonga grabbed five rebounds, two of which he pushed into transition opportunities for the Wizards offense, and dished out a trio of assists. He was also active on the defensive end, registering a pair of blocks, a pair of steals and an 82.9 defensive rating, one of his nine sub-90.0 defensive rating of the season. Bonga is the only Wizards player to total at least 13 points, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals in a game this season.