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Tournament play begins with Clippers for Summer Wizards
It’s tournament time in Vegas as the Wizards prepare for the Clippers in their fourth game of the Summer League on Wednesday afternoon (4 p.m. ET, ESPNU). Washington is coming off an impressive victory over Philadelphia in their third game, and the starting group has started to gel heading into the tournament. As expected, Troy Brown Jr., Devin Robinson and Thomas Bryant have emerged as leaders for this squad, and they’ll look to keep their good run going.
The Clippers also finished 1-2 in the first three games in Vegas and are headlined by a pair of first round picks in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson. Gilgeous-Alexander poured in 25 points in the Clips’ last game, while Robinson has averaged 13 points per game. Los Angeles also has its 2017 draft class, Jawun Evans and Sindarius Thornwell, with them in Vegas this summer. Thornwell has averaged nearly 18 points per contest this summer.
Here’s who we’re watching for this summer with game-by-game updates...
Wizards to Watch in Vegas
Troy Brown Jr. – The Wizards’ first round pick this season is the natural headliner for D.C. during Summer League. A versatile playmaking wing, the 18-year-old Brown will get his first chance to show how quickly he’s adapting to the NBA game. Look for him to score from all over the floor and use his length defensively, with a big focus this summer on improving his outside shot.
Game 1 Recap: Brown showcased all of the reasons the Wizards drafted him in his first outing, using his smooth feel for the game to attack the basket and his long frame to rebound en route to 13 points. Turnovers were an issue, and he’ll look to hit from 3-point range in Game 2.
Game 2 Recap: The rookie contributed from all over the floor Sunday, scoring 21 points to go with 12 rebounds. He also lowered his turnovers considerably in Game 2, and said following the game that he’s continuing to get more comfortable with his teammates and as a leader despite being a rookie.
Game 3 Recap: Brown is settling in with both his teammates and the Wizards’ style in Vegas. He scored 23 points to go with eight rebounds in Game 3, posting a +14 in the process. He also only committed two turnovers, his best game of the summer in that respect.
Devin Robinson – After a year in the G League as the Wizards’ first two-way player, Robinson will look to showcase how much he’s improved after his first full year as a pro. The Florida product averaged 13 points per game last season in the G League and shot an improved 38 percent from 3-point range. He’s a tremendous athlete whose length gives him advantages on both ends, and Washington is excited to see how his game has progressed.
Game 1 Recap: The Wizards’ leading scorer against the Cavs with 14 points and five rebounds, Robinson’s athleticism was on display. Improving on his 4-11 performance from the field is the next step.
Game 2 Recap: Robinson showcased exactly what the Wizards love about him in Game 2, using his explosiveness to throw down five big-time dunks in the contest en route to a team-high 24 points on 50 percent shooting. The 3-pointer wasn’t there for Robinson on the day, but he contributed in a big way.
Game 3 Recap: Another efficient outing for Robinson, who hit a pair of 3-pointers and shot 80 percent from the field to tally 22 points. Robinson has talked about how much his confidence in the pro game has increased, and it’s showing.
Thomas Bryant – Recently signed off waivers from the Lakers, Bryant brings a very intriguing skill set to Washington in today’s NBA. With a big 6-11 frame, excellent bounce and an advanced outside shot for his size and age (he turns 21 later this month), the Wizards like his potential to be a productive modern big. Bryant can do a little of everything, and he averaged 19.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in the G League last season.
Game 1 Recap: Bryant tallied seven points and four rebounds against Cleveland, attempting just six shots from the field. He also missed a pair of 3-pointers, something that should improve with his shooting touch.
Game 2 Recap: Sunday marked a huge improvement for Bryant, who scored 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting to go with seven rebounds. He also added four assists. We know Bryant is a great athlete for his size, and that was on display in Game 2 as he ran the floor well and got downhill towards the basket at will.
Game 3 Recap: In his best performance of the summer, Bryant scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. He also blocked a pair of shots and posted a team-best +18.
Issuf Sanon – Sanon will play next season in Europe, but the Wizards will see what he’s got this summer before he gets a chance to play regularly overseas for a year or two. Sanon plays with a ton of intensity and is certainly a raw talent, but he’ll get to make a first impression this summer. He’ll always be able to play defense well with his size, so offensive consistency is one of his focuses going forward.
Game 1 Recap: DNP
Game 2 Recap: Sanon made his summer league debut, logging 13 minutes.
Game 3 Recap: He’s still looking for his first bucket, but continued to show fire defensively and recorded three steals.
Chris Chiozza – After four years of running the point at Florida, Chiozza is the latest Gator to join the Wizards. He’s a gritty floor general with a propensity to hit big shots, and while he may be undersized by NBA standards, he’s creative around the rim. His wealth of experience from a big-time program should serve him well in Summer League.
Game 1 Recap: Chiozza wasn’t a prolific scorer in college and only scored five points to go with five assists. Improving on six turnovers against the Cavs is critical for the Wizards’ floor general in Game 2.
Game 2 Recap: He’s known for his great passing ability, and Chiozza used it in Game 2 to log a double-double with 10 points, 11 assists and four rebounds. The six turnovers were more than he would have liked, but Chiozza also hit two of the Wizards’ four 3-pointers on the day.
Game 3 Recap: Chiozza’s continued to use his veteran experience to run the point efficiently, dishing 11 assists while only committing two turnovers in Game 3. He added seven points.