Brooks overseeing improvement on offense - In watching the Wizards this season, it's hard not to notice that many are having the best seasons of their career. John Wall is posting career-highs in points (23.1 ppg), steals (2.3 spg) and field goal percentage (46.4). Bradley Beal is also scoring more than ever (21.8 ppg) at a career-high field goal percentage (45.6). The same can also be said about Otto Porter, who is scoring 14.5 points on 54 percent shooting, both career-highs.
Marcin Gortat is shooting a career-high 57.5 percent from the field to go along with a career-best 11.6 rebounds per game. Even Kelly Oubre, Jr. can be included in that mix, as he is having a breakout year of sorts.
The Wizards as a team currently have their best offensive rating (109) since the 2007-08 season. Their 47.2 field goal percentage is their highest since 1996-97.
So, is it a coincidence that all of these guys are taking their games to new levels? Surely there are multiple factors that play into each and every player's improvement. But I asked some of Brooks' players this week what he deserves credit for as a new coach and the consensus was that they like the changes he has made to their offensive system:
Wall: "He challenged me personally and challenged everybody else... He gets credit for it. He gives me the opportunity to excel by giving me the ball and letting me to be the point guard out there and run a lot of sets. I can be aggressive. I give a lot of credit for myself for doing what I had to do to get back from the surgeries over the summer, [too]."
Beal: "I think he grants everybody freedom. I think that’s great for us. I’m able to dribble and handle the ball. John is able to handle the ball. Otto is even able to handle the ball in pick-and-rolls. Even with bringing it up the floor. I think our freedom and our ability to just have a little bit of control. I think his plays are great. We do a better job of screening. Our flow is awesome. I think ultimately it’s just everybody improving their game. Us being able to spread the floor out just makes it difficult for the other team."
Porter: "The ball just moves. With John creating and doing the things that he does, it helps everybody else. The confidence that we have going forward is key for us. Everybody is getting touches. We’re playing good defense and getting steals. We’re running the break and just feeding off each other."
Gortat: "[For me] it’s just more minutes. It’s more minutes and at the same time, coach has really given me a chance to play and given me a lot of confidnece. He’s kind of just leaving me out there and leaving me alone consistently. Obviously, I’m just trying to do my job, but he is just letting me play and do my stuff. I’m going to come up with some crazy stuff. Sometimes I’m going to come up with some crazy stuff and some unnecessary stuff, but he knows that ratio of good stuff to crazy stuff is like three-to-one, so. He doesn’t have to worry about anything."
The Wizards are currently one game out of fourth place in the Eastern Conference after beginning the season 2-8 and battling numerous injuries, most notably to their biggest free agent acquisition, Ian Mahinmi. Brooks has done an impressive job helping his team stay afloat and along the way has overseen several players take their game to new heights.
[RELATED: Wall wears long wig in TV acting debut]
Eastern Conference standings
Stat line of the week: John Wall 1/10 vs. Bulls - 26 points, 14 assists, 6 rebounds, steal, block, 11-of-21 FG
Quote of the Week
"You just woke a monster."
Tweet (or Instagram) of the Week
Mon. - 120-101 win vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Tue. - OFF
Wed. - 104-101 win vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Thu. - 113-110 win vs. New York Knicks
Fri. - OFF
Sat. - 6 p.m. at Detroit Pistons (CSN)
Sun. - OFF
[RELATED: Wall and Beal not named All-Star starters]