From the opening tip, not much went right for the Wizards on Sunday night in Toronto.
But one of the few positives for the Wizards was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who played his best game as a Wizard despite playing a tad banged up through the game.
In the 102-90 loss to the Raptors, Caldwell-Pope was one of the only reasons the Wizards didn’t get completely blown out.
“You just gotta try to gut it out,” Caldwell-Pope said of playing at not 100 percent. “You’ve got to try to find that energy from somewhere and try to finish the game. Just do your job and do what you can do out there. Just give it all you’ve got until you can’t give it no more. We talk about effort so much, it’s a big part of how we play the game.”
In a 26-point effort on 8-of-9 shooting, he was the leading scorer for the Wizards (by 12 points) on a night seemingly nothing worked offensively. The team scored just 12 points in the first quarter and never made the game close after that, as the deficit reached 20 in the first half.
Caldwell-Pope is one of just four Wizards (a group including Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Deni Avdija) to play in every single game so far this season, which has made his consistency that much more important to the team.
He’s reached double-digit points in 14 of the team’s 24 games and as one of the newest Wizards, was the best player on the team Sunday night. “Finding my shots within the flow of the offense, not trying to force anything and just take my shots when I’m open,” Caldwell-Pope said on staying reliable. “I try to continue to do that consistently, just play within the flow of the game and not force anything. I know my defense is going to be there, that’s what I lean on every night just to get my offensive game going. Just the flow of the game and trying to be consistent with that.”