Heading west - Winners of four out of their last six, the Wizards now head to the southwest corner of the country to face off with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night, then the San Antonio Spurs on Friday. This will be the furthest the Wizards have traveled so far this season and each opponent presents a difficult matchup.
The Thunder feature Russell Westbrook, who is currently averaging a triple-double. That game will mark the return of Scott Brooks to Oklahoma City for the first time since they fired him following the 2014-15 season. For more on Brooks' return, click here.
In San Antonio, they will encounter a Spurs team that just beat them 112-100 on Saturday in Washington. Both teams will be tough, as the Wizards hope to continue their recent momentum and climb back to .500. After OKC, their schedule eases up a bit with Brooklyn, Orlando (for the third time already this season), Denver, Milwaukee and Miami. All five of those teams have losing records and three of those games are at home.
Popovich on consulting Brooks - While in D.C. over the weekend, San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich shared some details about Brooks' visit to Spurs training camp in October of 2015, during the year Brooks sat out from the coaching. 'Details' may not be the best word, as Popovich didn't specify what they went over or even how those visits generally come about, whether he invites them or coaches ask to stop by. But, Popovich being the interesting guy that he is, still had some thoughts on both Brooks and coaches visiting his training camp in general that are worth sharing.
On Brooks visiting: "We had a lot of good battles when he was at OKC. We respect each other a great deal, so it was fun to have him in. Whenever coaches have a chance to do that, it's fun for both because you learn from each other. One of my favorite years was the lockout year because you actually get to go to somebody else's gym to see what they do. You're always doing your own stuff and never have a chance to do that with other coaches. He was able to do it and it was very fruitful and a lot of fun."
On if coaches visiting can gain a competitive advantage by learning secrets: "I think that's all baloney. It's basketball. I don't remember the last time anybody invented the wheel or the lightbulb or anything like that. It's mostly about who executes better for a longer period of time on a given evening. That's the winner. We're all doing pretty similar things. But we have different ways, different drills in training camp. Different ways of getting points across, different teaching methods. When you spend time with coaches, whether they're from overseas or from here in America, it's always a fruitful experience."
Ochefu fighting for minutes - Wizards rookie Daniel Ochefu continues to be on the outside looking in of Brooks' rotation. The 6-foot-11 center hasn't played in eight straight games and has only been offered eight total minutes this season spread across three games, each time appearing at the end of blowouts.
That is not at all surprising for a player who was undrafted and joined a team with playoff expectations, but that doesn't mean Ochefu is comfortable sitting on the end of the bench. Like everyone, he wants to play and for now his only opportunity to impress the coaching staff is in practice.
"Practices are my games. I just think of it like that. I use it as a chance to keep putting pressure on the coaches and keep getting my name in the conversation. And also to get my teammates better. If I'm going hard and they're going hard, everyone gets better that way," he said.
Ochefu said his main priorities at the moment are rebounding and defense. That is what he feels could pave the pay to more playing time down the road. He's also keeping an eye on veteran Marcin Gortat, who has taken him under his wing.
"I'm always working out with him. After practice, he tells me what I'm doing well. I'm always watching him at practice," Ochefu said.
Eastern Conference standings
Game of the week: Bradley Beal 11/28 vs. Kings - 31 points, 6 rebounds, block, 12-for-24 FG, 7-for-13 3PT
Quote of the Week
"It's come up."
Tweet (or Instagram) of the Week
Mon. - 101-95 OT win vs. Kings
Tue. - OFF
Wed. - 8 p.m. at Oklahoma City Thunder (CSN)
Thu. - OFF
Fri. - 8:30 p.m. at San Antonio Spurs (CSN)
Sat. - OFF
Sun. - OFF