Wizards

Wizards

The dividends are already starting to pay off from the Wizards' trade deadline deal for three-point marksman Bojan Bogdanovic and subsequent free agent signing of backup point guard Brandon Jennings.

The two have played a combined eight games for the Wizards, but you wouldn't know it by their performance on Sunday evening against the Orlando Magic.

The Wizards went down early to last-place Orlando, at one point trailing by 17 points. This was a Magic team that had already beaten them twice in three opportunities this season. Orlando is a tough defensive team, one that can be pesky when they get a lead and the Wizards found that out the hard way earlier this season. 

But what Bogdanovic and Jennings did for the Wizards' bench, along with another strong game from Ian Mahinmi who missed most of this season with injuries, may help illustrate a big difference between the Wizards now and when the Magic last saw them, in December. Now their second unit can at least some nights be a strength. On Sunday, they helped lift the Wizards to a win by providing a spark on offense.

Bogdanovic was the star with 27 points in 27 minutes, including a career-high eight three-pointers. He shot 8-for-10 from downtown with six of them coming in the second half and five in the fourth quarter alone.

 

“[President] Ernie [Grunfeld] did a great job picking us up a really really good player that can play. He has great experience, he knows how to play, he takes big shots and he makes big shots," head coach Scott Brooks said. "He's won two games already with his ability to score from the perimeter."

RELATED: UPDATED NBA POWER RANKINGS

The "two games" reference was a nod to Bogdanovic's 27-point, six three-pointer outing against the Raptors on Wednesday. He's played six games for the Wizards and in two was a major reason why they won. 

Bogdanovic is already impressing his teammates, even Bradley Beal who is pretty good at shooting threes himself.

“He is making me feel bad. I feel like I don’t shoot enough threes," Beal said. 

Bogdanovic is doing things the Wizards were not used to from their bench before the trade. He's hit the 27-point mark twice after the Wizards had only one reserve (Trey Burke) get there in a game before his arrival.

Jennings also came through on offense in just his second game with the Wizards. After going scoreless in his debut on Friday night, Jennings finally got a bucket against the Magic. But it was his seven assists that truly stood out. That was the most assists for a Wizards reserve this season and the most since Ramon Sessions on Dec. 26 of 2015.

Jennings was just happy to contribute.

"I got a win with the Wizards. I was getting a little nervous. We were down 16 at the half. I didn't want to come here and then the Wizards haven't won a game since I've been here," he joked.

RELATED: ROSS APOLOGIZES TO BEAL FOLLOWING INJURY