Wizards

Westbrook likes where the Wizards are heading into season opener

Wizards

Russell Westbrook wasn't afforded a lot of time to get settled in with his new Wizards teammates. 

He was traded to Washington at the beginning of training camp, a shortened one at that, and had to move to prepare to play for his third team in three years. So far, he's received glowing reviews from Wizards players and coaches as they've all commended the consistent energy and effort he brings to the court every single day. 

But what does Westbrook think of his new team not even a month into his Wizards tenure? 

"I like where we are," Westbrook told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller. "I think confidence is huge, it's going to be huge for us. I think we figured some things out, how we can play, what type of style we need to play to be able to compete."

The Wizards are a much different group than the Rockets team Westbrook helped get to the second round of the playoffs. They're younger, less experienced and are all looking to get to where Westbrook has been with two separate franchises. 

It won't be smooth sailing the whole way, and Westbrook knows that, but what's important to him is that his teammates compete. Based on what he's gathered, the Wizards have plenty of that on the roster. 

"We've got a lot of guys on this team that can compete, and that's all that matters," he said. "You're going to win some games, you'll lose some, but nine times out of 10 if you compete and play hard, the wins will outweigh the losses."

 

The top of the Eastern Conference is loaded with star-studded teams with a playoff pedigree, which has led some to believe the Wizards' best bet at the playoffs is the play-in scenario. 

With Westbrook, will the Wizards exceed expectations, or will the strength of the conference prove to be a challenge throughout the year? The Wizards begin their regular-season schedule Wednesday night against the Sixers, so fans won't have to wait much longer to watch Washington start to figure that part out. 

Tune in at 6 PM to NBC Sports Washington on Wednesday for complete coverage of the Wizards season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers.