Rui Hachimura

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WATCH: Troy Brown delivers pretty pass to Rui Hachimura for a dunk

WATCH: Troy Brown delivers pretty pass to Rui Hachimura for a dunk

Troy Brown was replaced in the starting lineup by Isaac Bonga Tuesday night against the Magic and didn't let it negatively affect his play. 

After coming up with a steal in the second quarter, Brown dribbled behind his back off Terrence Ross' foot but kept his composure to fire a dime to Rui Hachimura for an easy dunk. 

Brown was struggling as a starter mostly in part because he was forced to spot up with Bradley Beal and Isaiah Thomas on the floor with him. 

In the second unit, Brown can play with the ball in his hands more often. He's clearly more comfortable as a playmaker and it's made a sizeable impact on his defense as well. 

Bonga may be the better fit in the starting lineup due to his length and defense-first style of play. With Brown making plays off the bench, Scott Brooks may have figured out his wing rotation already. 

Once players settle into roles they're best suited for, they start to play above their talent level. 

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Wizards insert Davis Bertans and Isaac Bonga into starting lineup

Wizards insert Davis Bertans and Isaac Bonga into starting lineup

WIth Thomas Bryant, Moe Wagner and Ian Mahinmi out vs the Magic, the Wizards revamped their starting five with Davis Bertans and Isaac Bonga.

According to Scott Brooks, the new starting five will include Isaiah Thomas and Bradley Beal in the backcourt with Isaac Bonga, Davis Bertans and Rui Hachimura on the front line. 

This is Hachimura's first start at center in his career, but with nobody available who normally plays in that spot, he'll have to play a ton of minutes there Tuesday night. 

Per Cleaning the Glass, Hachimura has played 26 possessions at center so far in his rookie season. In those possessions, the Wizards score 153.8 points per 100 possessions and give up 133.3. 

Those lineups have certainly scored a ton, but there's not much resistance on defense, which properly sums up the Wizards' season to date. 

Luckily for the Wizards on Tuesday, All-Star center Nikola Vucevic is not expected to play. 

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Doc Rivers shuts down Kawhi Leonard comparisons for Rui Hachimura

Doc Rivers shuts down Kawhi Leonard comparisons for Rui Hachimura

The 2019 NBA Draft was a weird night for the Wizards faithful. 

Armed with the ninth overall pick and Duke star Cam Reddish surprisingly on the board, the Wizards took Rui Hachimura out of Gonzaga. He had a solid reputation as a pick-and-pop power forward with upside on the defensive end, but his draft stock was somewhere in the 10-20 range. 

As Hachimura went up to greet Adam Silver and put on a Wizards hat for the first time, Chauncey Billups compared the big man to a young version of two-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. 

Young Kawhi or current Kawhi, that was a hot take from Billups. Expectations were going to be high for Hachimura anyway after going ninth overall, but this added unnecessary fuel to the fire. 

Before Leonard and the Clippers took on Hachimura's Wizards Sunday night, head coach Doc Rivers acknowledged the comparison. 

“I wouldn’t want that," Rivers said to Fred Katz. "That’s too early. Let him be him... But everything I hear about him, forget the basketball part, is that he’s supposed to be a great kid. And that helps.”

While the Leonard comparisons were all but put to bed, Hachimura had a career night against the Clippers Sunday. He finished with 30 points and nine rebounds on 13-23 from the floor and hit 2-of-5 threes. 

He's just the third rookie to score 30 points in a game this season and the first Wizards rookie to have 30 points and nine rebounds in a game since Juwan Howard in 1995. 

Hachimura may never get to Leonard's level as a player, but there's nothing wrong with that. Few players become all-time greats. 

What's clear through his first 18 games is that he's a player the Wizards can keep to build a formidable young core around Bradley Beal and John Wall. As he continues to get his feet under him and stretches his game out to the three-point line, we might be looking at a future All-Star.

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