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The Wizards are back on the floor Sunday looking to even their Summer League record after a loss to Cleveland in the opener. Taking care of the ball better and playing faster will be the focal points for a young Washington squad still learning how to play as a unit. And while playing quicker is important, what the coaching staff will really want to see is how well their team’s decision-making improves. Moving the ball with smart passes will be the emphasis.
Sunday’s opponent is Lonnie Walker and the San Antonio Spurs, who also dropped their Summer League opener to the Pacers. In that game, Walker and fellow guard Derrick White scored 15 and 19 points, respectively. The Spurs also played in this year’s Utah Summer League, where they won two of their three games. Walker – this year’s 18th overall pick in the NBA Draft – and White are the two names to watch in Game 2 in Vegas.
Here’s what we’re watching for this summer as it all gets going Friday night…
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Aaron Harrison – First a highly-recruited prospect at Kentucky, Harrison averaged 18.7 points per game in the G League last season, his third as a pro. His professional experience and scoring knack will be welcome on this year’s summer squad, and he has a big frame for a guard that helps him defensively.
Game 1 Recap: Harrison scored 12 points on 3-13 from the field (2-10 3-point). He’ll improve on those numbers, and still helped the team against Cleveland with six rebounds.