The team that the Wizards were when they began the season, with John Wall and Bradley Beal carrying a lion's share of the workload, isn't them at their best. It's the team that showed up in the last game.
With no Marcin Gortat (left knee), no Beal (right leg), Nene still on a minutes restriction and no sign of Alan Anderson (left ankle), they blitzed the Chicago Bulls 114-110 with seven players scoring in double figures and two others with eight each.
"Our bench came out and played very well to start the fourth," Wall said. "That was key for us because they got it to 85-81 and they went on a run and got it back up. As long as our bench is playing well, we're playing well, we give ourselves a great chance."
Gary Neal (11 points) had a steal that led to Ramon Sessions (16 points) finding DeJuan Blair (eight points) open under the rim for a layup. Then Sessions had a pair of free throws before the starters returned to put the game out of reach with a 14-2 run. The bench combined to score 47 points, or 41% of the total.
This is how the Wizards have been built for the last few seasons though they've never had this many pieces with which to work. They're not an isolation team and instead rely on ball movement and having multiple scorers reach double-digits. And this identity is a perfect complement to the pace-and-space offense which is why Garrett Temple (14 points) has had four games of 20 or more points already this season, an unprecedented stretch of productivity on the offensive end for him.
"I believe in these guys. I see all these guys make shots after practice, before practice, get their work in," said Wall who posted his 21st double-double with 17 points and 10 assists. "If they're open I'm going to give it to them. If not I live with the result of making the right play. That's the important thing."
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