“I’m not afraid of anybody. I knew there was a situation that I would have to be on LeBron” Deni Avdija

Feb 23, 2021 | Deni Avdija

Israeli sensation Deni Avdija played a pivotal role in the Washington Wizards 127-124 overtime win against the Los Angeles Lakers in California. The victory marked the 5th in a row for Scott Brooks and his squad as they now prepare for a quick turnaround in the same arena, the Staples Center when they tipoff against the Clippers at 5:00am Israel time on Wednesday morning.

Avdija received plenty of kudos from coach Brooks following the game after playing lockdown defense on LeBron James while also hitting a clutch corner triple to give the Wizards life late in the game.

Following the game, Avdija addressed the media at the postgame press conference as he answered questions in both English and Hebrew which you can enjoy below.

What is the strategy on guarding Lebron:
“First of all, I stick to the scouting report. Our coaches do a great job that’s first of all. Second of all, like I said I’m not afraid of anybody I’m just going to take the challenge every time. So for me I take the player I am guarding seriously like an equal. Just stepped up took the challenge and played my defense and I guess he had a hard time so it’s good.”


On switching onto LeBron on defense:
“I am not sure what the decision was. Coach probably wanted to go to a shorter lineup and I was ready to switch onto LeBron. I knew there was a situation that I would have to be on LeBron.” 

About his 3-point shooting:
“I’m definitely thinking about the next game the next shot I’m doing a lot of repetition so I’m going in the gym shooting the amount of shots that I need to make that will going to make me comfortable. I mean, for a shooter you have situations like periods that the shot is less efficient and you need to do other things better so I am not focusing if I miss the shot I’m going to shoot every time I am open I’m confident in my shot and sometimes it will be less efficient. I am going to practice and hopefully maintain it.” 

Preparing with the scouting report on players:
“I definitely stick to the scouting report. I try to learn every player and what he does on the court. It is not easy as a rookie because it’s your first time here you don’t know everybody in the league, you know the big names and what they do. At the end of the day on the court I’m just reading, sticking to what the coach tells me and I am just playing with my defensive skills I am just reading. I’m sending him to his weak hand most of the time, but I’m just playing taking the challenge, I’m defending with my heart at the end of the day. It’s your heart defending not anything else.”

About his shots:
“I don’t think too much, I prefer not to think. I am confident in my shot. I was wide open so I took the shot. I am working on it. I shoot as much as I need to. I am still in my first year so not everything will be stable for me, but it is fun to hit a three to help the team to win and we did a great job.”


On his mindset:
“It is not easy and I try to always stay positive whether I have a good game or not I am always working on what I have to improve in my game no matter how many minutes I play. When I am on the court I play my hardest. There will be times that I will get the opportunity to take big shots and some games I won’t shoot at all and I am ready for that. I am in my first year and I am still learning. I am ready for any moment when I get onto the court. I have the support of my family who are backing me and other people also who love me and help me along the way.”

How did it feel coming in at the end of overtime:
“It was a huge win for us. Rui told me to throw the ball up. it is fun to win with all my teammates.”

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