Deni Avdija memorializes Holocaust Remembrance Day with “Yizkor” on his sneakers as Wizards win

Apr 8, 2021 | Deni Avdija

With reinforcements in the form of Bradley Beal and Rui Hachimura, the Washington Wizards handled the Orlando Magic in mostly straightforward fashion despite the home team pulling to within four after Washington had a 21-point third-quarter lead. Behind their best three-point shooting performance of the season, the Wizards snapped a six-game losing streak to the Magic with a 131-116 victory. On Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), Deni Avdija had the second-best game of his young NBA career with 16 points and five rebounds in 30 minutes.

Coming into Wednesday’s game, the Wizards had the fifth-worst three-point shooting percentage in the NBA at 34.7 percent, but everything was falling from deep for the road team to the tune of 19-for-36 (52.8 percent). Davis Bertans was 6-11, Bradley Beal was 4-6, Deni Avdija was 4-7, and even Russell Westbrook was a perfect 3-3. Washington’s ball movement was well executed with a season-high-tying 35 assists on 49 made field goals, a stark difference to the heavy isolation offense Westbrook ran when Beal and Hachimura were sidelined and Washington struggled to score.

Deni Avdija – Photo Credit: Washington Wizards

With the word ‘Yizkor’, ‘remembrance’ written on his shoes in Hebrew, Deni Avdija had a good game on both ends of the court as he has looked more poised in recent contests. Knocking down his second-most three-pointers in his early career certainly helps confidence and he was even able to score in other manners by getting to his spot for a pullup jumper or backing down a smaller defender. When discussing Avdija’s improved play and aggression of late, Beal dropped a ‘he likes it, I love it’ line.

“He’s learning where he can expect to get the ball on the offensive end. Defensively, he’s going to have a tough matchup every night. He has big size, very versatile, we trust him to be able to guard and switch, guard multiple positions,” Bradley Beal evaluated Deni Avdija’s development. “On offense, Russ yells at him if he doesn’t shoot the ball so whenever Russ yells, you do what the hell he says and you let the results play out as they may. We all constantly encourage him to be aggressive, look for his shots, don’t be afraid to push the ball a little bit. Learn where Russ likes to drive, where I like to drive, learn and know when to cut, when not to cut, when you have a mismatch, when you can post up, when you can’t. He’s understanding it, he’s definitely gravitating towards it and learning. We love his aggression and definitely happy for him to see some go in, build his confidence up.”

The Wizards will now make the long journey from Florida to California as they begin their second four-game West Coast trip of the season on Friday against the Golden State Warriors.

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