Brooks' offense is reaching new heights - The teams Scott Brooks coached in Oklahoma City were so talented that someday there will probably be an ESPN '30 for 30' on how they never won an NBA title together. Just look at the current list of the top scorers in the NBA. Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kevin Durant are all in the top 10 and Westbrook leads the entire league with 31.2 points per game. All three are probably on track to be in the Hall of Fame.
Those OKC teams were absolutely stacked on offense, yet Brooks' current Wizards team has done several things offensively this season that the Thunder never accomplished with Brooks in charge. On Sunday, they had a 23-game streak of scoring 100 points or more snapped. That was the longest such streak in Brooks' coaching career. And this season the Wizards are averaging 107.9 points per game as a team. The Thunder never did that for a full season.
Somehow, Brooks' system is being taken to new heights by John Wall, Bradley Beal and company. Neither Wall or Beal had heard the points per game stat, but it makes sense to them.
"We’re shooting the ball very well. We have five guys in the double figures in the starting five. We all move the ball very well," Wall said. "You know who is going to get the most shots, but you don’t really know who is going to take the big shots at the right time. We all trust in moving the ball and going from the good-to-great pass. That’s what makes our team great."
"I didn't know that. That's kind of hard to believe with the three-headed monster that he had before. That's unique," Beal said.
When asked if it was all about ball movement, Beal offered this:
"I think we are a little bit better at that than they were."
Brooks didn't directly compare his current team to his former players, but he too thinks it's been a collective effort.
"We have good players, guys that know how to play and that pass the ball. We are passing the ball as well as we have all season long the last couple of months," Brooks explained. "We've got good scorers. We've got good guys that understand that it takes everybody to make an offense work. We have good screen-setters. Marcin is one of the best in the league, if not the best at getting guys open for points. I think guys are just enjoying playing with each other on the floor."
All of the Wizards' success is making Brooks look very smart. There were critics who wondered if he could coach given all the talent he had in Oklahoma City. There were some who downplayed his impact.
It's not like Wall and Beal are scrubs, but clearly what Brooks preaches actually works.
"You can talk to any coach in the history of this game and not one of them has won at a high level without talented players. If they don't think that, they don't have good enough friends to tell them the truth," Brooks said. "You win in this league with good players. We had a successful run. You can argue probably that the three players are one, two and three in the MVP voting. The same thing we have here, we have a really good team with a lot of good players. They are high-level players and All-Star players. Brad eventually is going to be one. You win with good players. I don't look back on what happened to me and the what ifs. The injuries the trades; those are all part of the game. Unfortunately, it happened. But I've moved on. I've got nothing but good respect for the guys that I've coached and I'm looking forward to creating that same atmosphere here with our group of players."
The Wizards are happy to have Brooks and they seem to have completely bought in to his message. Just look at this play in Wednesday's win over the Raptors and how well the offense moved:
As Beal said earlier this season about Brooks and the Wizards: "our flow is awesome." Indeed.
Eastern Conference standings
Stat line of the week: Bradley Beal 2/24 at Sixers - 40 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, steal, 15-for-25 FG, 8-for-10 FT
Quote of the Week
Tweet (or Instagram) of the Week
"And then the Clippers asked for Otto Porter." pic.twitter.com/QnoGtsz2vB— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) February 21, 2017
Schedule at a glance
Mon. - OFF
Tue. - 112-108 win vs. Warriors
Wed. - 105-96 win at Raptors
Thu. - OFF
Fri. - 7 p.m. vs. Raptors
Sat. - OFF
Sun. - 5 p.m. vs. Magic