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Bryant's top three performances of the season so far
In his second season with the team, Thomas Bryant has been a fixture in the Wizards’ frontcourt rotation and a constant source of energy and aggressiveness. Bryant’s eight double-doubles, which are tied with Bradley Beal for most on the team, highlight a season that has also included six 20-point games and 10 games with multiple blocks. Below is a look at his top three performances of the season so far.
3. November 22, 2019 vs. Charlotte21 PTS / 11 REB / 9-12 (.750) FG
In a season-high 34 minutes, Bryant put up his fifth double-double of the season in Washington’s 13th game, a 125-118 win over Charlotte. Bryant scored eight points on 4-5 (.800) from the field in the first quarter and did the rest of his offensive damage in the second half, scoring 13 points on 5-5 (1.000) shooting. The game was his third 20-point, 10-rebound game of the season and his 75.0 shooting percentage was his highest of the season to that point. Bryant was a +21 when he was on the court and helped hold Charlotte’s starting frontcourt – P.J. Washington and Cody Zeller – to a combined 11 points.
“TB was huge,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said postgame. “When we have our bigs rolling, it opens up everything offensively for us and I thought TB was huge tonight throughout the game. Give him a lot of credit because that's something we've been harping on, and sometimes he floats away because the three-ball is sexy, but the layup is the much better shot for all of our bigs."
“I took it to heart, talking to coaches and talking to my teammates,” Bryant said. “I bring so much emphasis, I bring so much attention when I roll, we have so many shooters and so many guys that can create off the dribble and make open shots. With me rolling, it opens up so much more for my teammates, for Brad [Beal], for [Davis] Bertans – who’s a marksman out there. You know, it brings a natural flow to the game for us on the offensive end.”
2. October 25, 2019 at Oklahoma City21 PTS / 11 REB / 2 AST / 2 STL / 3 BLK / 3-7 (.429) 3P
In Washington’s second game of the season, Bryant led the team in points (21), rebounds (11) and blocks (3) as the Wizards went on to win a defensive struggle against Oklahoma City 97-85, giving him double-doubles in each of the team’s first two games of the year. Bryant came out firing, scoring 10 points in the first quarter, six of which came on a pair of makes from beyond the arc. Bryant finished the game with three triples, the most he made in a single game this season, and his three blocks were one shy of his season high.
All of this came against a Thunder front line led by Steven Adams, one of the league’s strongest, most capable man-on-man defensive big men.
“I thought Thomas was outstanding tonight,” Brooks said. “He understands that if you're going to get into a wrestling match with those bigger, stronger guys you're going to lose every time. What you have to do is use your quickness. You have to be smart and you have to run the on the other end. You can't take possessions off. You can wear bigger, stronger guys out by just running them up and down the court, and that's what he's done. That's how he's going to be able to continue to have success against these bigger guys."
1. November 27, 2019 at Phoenix23 PTS / 9 REB / 5 AST / 9-11 (.818) FG
Bryant did a little bit of everything against the Phoenix, scoring a season-high 23 points, finishing one rebound shy of a double-double and registering one of his four games with at least five assists. Perhaps more impressively, he did so with efficiency and consistency. Bryant shot 9-11 (.818) from the floor, the best shooting percentage of the season in a game with at least 10 field goal attempts.
Bryant was steady throughout, tallying quarter-by-quarter scoring totals of five, seven, six and five. He gave the Suns trouble all the way until the game’s final minutes when he helped Washington put Phoenix away for good. He scored his five fourth-quarter points in the game’s final two minutes, including a 3-pointer to put the Wizards up 10 to seal the win. Washington needed every bit of the offense he chipped in to keep up with the Suns, eventually winning in a shootout, 140-132.