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What Wizards guard Chris Chiozza learned from playing with James Harden and Chris Paul

What Wizards guard Chris Chiozza learned from playing with James Harden and Chris Paul

WASHINGTON -- Point guard Chris Chiozza is hailed as a success story for the Wizards' G-League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, which played its first season last year as an expansion franchise. He joined the organization in training camp as an undrafted rookie and by February had played his way into an NBA contract with the Houston Rockets.

Chiozza initially signed a 10-day contract with Houston and ended up sticking around through the playoffs until late July when he was waived. That opened the door for a reunion in Washington where he landed on an Exhibit 10 contract last month.

His time in Houston was brief, but important for a variety of reasons. For one, Chiozza got some official NBA experience for the first time by appearing in seven regular season games. 

Chiozza, 23, is now back with the Wizards with a different perspective.

"It's a much more comfortable feeling now, just having that experience," he told NBC Sports Washington. "I wasn't expecting to be back here. But it's a great opportunity. I get along great with everybody here."

Chiozza is currently gunning for a roster spot with the Wizards out of training camp. With injuries to two of Washington's point guards, John Wall and Isaiah Thomas, Chiozza could earn some playing time early in the season behind projected starter Ish Smith. Chiozza's main competition is undrafted rookie Justin Robinson, who joined the Wizards on a three-year deal this summer. 

Chiozza could have his contract converted into a two-way deal, as they have an open spot there next to Garrison Mathews. That would allow Chiozza to start the season with the NBA team until G-League training camp begins on Oct. 28. Then, a 45-day limit would kick in for how much time he could spend in the NBA. Forty-five days, though, would be plenty for the Wizards to work with, as Thomas is expected to return from his left thumb injury not long after the season begins.

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks believes Chiozza has a real chance to carve out a steady career in the NBA.

"I think he knows that he can play in the league. As a young player, you hope that you can be in the league but you're not quite sure if you can," Brooks said. "But with Chris, I think he knows he can play in it."

Chiozza draws confidence from having a full year of professional basketball under his belt. But he also had a unique experience playing in Houston. He got to square off every day at practice with two guards who will be in the Hall of Fame someday.

Chiozza got to see up close what makes James Harden and Chris Paul great. And he took away from that lessons of how he can elevate his own game as a point guard.

"It was crazy just to see how good of a one-on-one player [Harden] is. When you watch him on TV, you can't really tell how smart of a player he is with the reads he makes. He can read when it's his shot or it's time to kick out to a shooter. Just watching him and CP3 and how they read the defense is pretty interesting," Chiozza said.

"When I was growing up, [Paul] was my favorite point guard. Just being around him and going to his camps and stuff and then being on his team, it was crazy."

Chiozza said practicing with Paul is a different experience than in games where he is more conservative with his ball-handling and passing. In practice, Paul may surprise you by passing the ball through a big man's legs or with dribble combinations he doesn't allows deploy. Chiozza calls them "pick-up moves."

Chiozza saw the finer details of what makes two great guards the players they are. As he aims to find a niche in the NBA, that can only help his cause.

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WATCH: Rui Hachimura dunks on Clippers' Ivica Zubac

WATCH: Rui Hachimura dunks on Clippers' Ivica Zubac

Rui Hachimura scored a career-high 30 points the last time he and the Wizards played the Clippers, so on Sunday, the rookie's confidence had to be high. 

Hachimura did most of his damage against Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell, and when Ish Smith whipped a pass to him on the baseline, Zubac wasn't stopping the rookie forward from slamming it on him. 

Zubac is the kind of big Hachimura should be able to feast on. Hachimura can match up with him on defense since he doesn't have much of an offensive skill set and can blow by him on the perimeter. 

If the Clippers decide to put a much better defender on Hachimura like Harrell, the hope is he'd have built up some confidence finishing at the rim to the point where it doesn't matter who's guarding him. 

It seems like Hachimura has a finish like this every game, so we'll be here to give you most of them as the young forward develops toward potential stardom. 

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Davis Bertans is on track to hit to become the third player in NBA history to hit 300 three pointers

Davis Bertans is on track to hit to become the third player in NBA history to hit 300 three pointers

The Wizards have unlocked Davis Bertans' full potential as a marksman this season, and it could lead to he Latvian forward joining Stephen Curry and James Harden in the NBA history books. 

Through 21 games, Bertans is averaging 14.4 points on 45 percent shooting and 44.8 percent from three on 8.3 attempts per game. Before this season, Bertans' career-high in attempts from deep was 4.4 last season. 

That's 78 made threes so far this season, which puts him in a tie for third place in the NBA along with Buddy Hield. He trails only Devontae Graham and James Harden. 

As of now, Bertans is on track to make 304 three-pointers by the end of the season. That would be the fifth-most makes in a season in NBA history and make him just the second player ever to eclipse 300 triples.

Curry has done it each of the last three seasons, including the year he hit 402 (!) threes in 2016. James Harden hit 378 threes last year and is well on track to do it again this season. 

It's hard to see Bertans slowing down at this point, but there's a reason only two players have ever accomplished this feat. He'll have a chance at adding to his impressive total Sunday night against the Clippers at 6 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Washington. 

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