After a 10-day stretch in which the team won four consecutive contests, the Wizards have evened their record at 14-14. Questions about their effort and new offense have been quieted due to the recent resurgence, and, while not skyrocketing like the new Star Wars movie, they are slowly climbing back up the Eastern Conference standings.
Almost every member of the roster has been key in the streak, but John Wall and Kelly Oubre Jr. have been especially important. And NBA TV analysts Rick Fox and Brent Barry have taken note of the duo's strong performances since last Monday, as each picked a Wizards guard as their players of the week.
“He put this team on his back with the absence of Bradley Beal," Fox said of the All-Star point guard, who averaged 16 points and 15.3 assists against the Kings, Grizzlies and Nets. "This team could’ve dipped, I thought. Statistically, maybe not great shooting percentage-wise, but his attack has returned. … I like he’s been able to hold this boat afloat when it could’ve been sinking.”
There's no doubt Wall has taken on extra responsibility as of late, and with him showing some — OK, a lot — of frustration with Kyrie Irving leading the way in terms of All-Star votes at his position, there's a chance he continues to excel. But his selection wasn't all that surprising. Oubre Jr.'s was, however.
“He’s not stepped outside of himself," Barry said about the rookie who put up 10 points and shot just under 59 percent in the three games during the past week. "He’s taken these minutes, he’s performed well with them and again, staying within himself and providing the winning formula this week to get 3-0.”
Oubre Jr. is starting to earn the trust of head coach Randy Wittman, and he's thriving. So, too, is his team as a whole. Now, the overall group will look to turn a good week into a good month, and start putting themselves back into the thick of the playoff hunt.