WASHINGTON -- Wizards forwards Deni Avdija and Kyle Kuzma have spent much of this season as shooting partners after practice and Kuzma has also taken Avdija under his wing as one of the team's leaders. According to Avdija, they have recently found another way to make each other better in drills.
"Me and Kuz are trying to start a routine of playing 1-on-1 against each other. First of all, because we are probably the same height, same size, so it’s a good matchup for us. And we just like to work with each other, like shooting [drills]," Avdija said.
Avdija is listed at 6-foot-9, while Kuzma is 6-foot-10. And at their size, they can both handle the ball and defend multiple positions.
After Wednesday's practice, Avdija and Kuzma took turns playing 1-on-1 against each other and Wizards' assistant coach Alex McLean, who heads their player development program. NBC Sports Washington was able to get some of it on video:
They played against each other for about 10 minutes in total, at least while media was allowed in the gym, and each got their fair share of buckets and stops. McLean, a former professional player overseas, also held his own.
Avdija hopes he and Kuzma can continue their 1-on-1 drills moving forward.
"We are both very competitive. We just make each other better by guarding each other, by playing 1-on-1, by doing shooting drills. We just make each other better and we have just built this relationship," Avdija said.
Avdija has been on an encouraging trajectory all season, particularly on the defensive end, but lately he's also been scoring more. He has reached double-figures in points in three straight games, the longest streak of his career. Over his last 10 games, he's shooting 50% from the field and 37.9% from three.
Clearly, the hard work is paying off.