The Wizards have won twelve of their last seventeen games, placing them in playoff contention in the Eastern Conference. Judging by last year’s performance, very few predicted they’d even be playoff relevant this year. However, Scott Brooks has managed to get John Wall and the rest of the Wizards playing harder in a couple months than they did all of last year.
John Wall is coming off a red hot player of the month performance, averaging 24.5 PTS, 10.7 AST, 4.4 REB, 2.7 STL, 0.5 BLK, .491 FG%, .814 FT% on 37.1 minutes.
While his seasonal average is comparable to his season of last year, his December was far more efficient and productive than his previous year, and he made his teammates better in the process. In the month of December, Marcin Gortat averaged a double double on .557 FG % in December and has been playing even better in the month of January. Otto Porter is playing a career best, with an efficient .583 FG % in the month of December. To make all things better, Bradley Beal is back, healthy, and scoring the basketball.
Scott Brook’s offense has helped the Wizards score the basketball more often and more efficiently. While Washington has not improved in their per game offensive and defensive stats, their ability to generate more efficient offense has allowed them to win more games thus far. Will that continue? We’ll see.
Statistically, the Wizards are not playing better defensively or offensively. What they are doing is putting the ball in John Wall’s hands more often, rebounding slightly better, and making a few extra passes to score the ball at a higher percentage down the stretch. The one thing worth considering is the fact that their schedule hasn’t been too tough so far as they have played mostly mid level teams. The tougher Western Conference teams are on their way.
Has coach Brooks significantly improved the Wizards’ scheme? Not yet. Has he somehow gotten the Wizards to play harder? Absolutely.
Let’s see if Scottie Brooks can make the appropriate adjustments to keep the Wizards playing above average.