The Washington Wizards fell 116-107 to the Boston Celtics as Israeli rookie Deni Avdija was held scoreless in only 14 minutes of play. Bradley Beal paced the Wizards with 41 points, Hachimura checked in with 17 points while Davis Bertans scored 13 points in the loss. Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 32 points and Jaylen Brown recorded a double-double with 27 points and 13 rebounds.
As for Avdija the Israeli went 0/3 from the field, grabbed 2 boards and posted an assist on the evening as he will get another chance to get back on the scoresheet Saturday against the Miami Heat.
The Sports Rabbi DC correspondent Neil Dalal wrote this about Avdija:
Just after I began to declare that I no longer view Avdija as a 19-year old rookie, the now 20-year old has hit his first slump. In his last three games, Avdija has played 46 minutes and scored just four points, grabbed just three rebounds, and dished out just two assists. The defensive effort has still been there for the most part, but the rookie needs time to get acclimated to the NBA and opposing players’ tendencies. Scott Brooks has been quick to sit Avdija instead of letting him play through whatever perceived deficiencies as the Wizards are very much striving for win-now. Aside from starting Davis Bertans, which would further deprive the second unit of offensive firepower, Avdija should still continue to start, but nothing is out of the question when you are 2-7.
Scott Brooks also commented on Avdija’s performance at the postgame press conference:
“He’s a rookie and he just turned 20 a week ago. He has to go through it and it builds mental toughness. He wants to play and wants to play well. He’s still understanding how we do things, how we play and how the league has tendencies. He will be fine. He’s a tough kid and I like that about him. He’s not going to have 30 minutes on any given night if he doesn’t play well. He’s gonna get a crack at it and tonight wasn’t his night. He’ll bounce back tomorrow night.”
They Said It
“At this point we can’t guard a parked car”
Bradley Beal on the Wizards' struggles: "Honestly, I don't know. I mean, y'all know, it's our defense. But I don't know why it's our defense. At this point, we can't guard a parked car." pic.twitter.com/is2J5OYymb
— Hoop District (@Hoop_District) January 9, 2021