Wizards handle Pistons in second half as Deni Avdija has subtle contributions

Apr 18, 2021 | Deni Avdija

The Washington Wizards are fully in the swing of their playoff push with their 6th win in seven games as they climb into a tie for the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference. Following a 121-100 blowout win over the Detroit Pistons, Washington improved to 23-33 with 16 games left to play in the regular season. In 24 minutes of play, Deni Avdija took just one shot coming in the final moments of the game, but made an impact during his time on the floor nonetheless.

Bouncing back from a relatively poor shooting night for his standards on Friday, Bradley Beal scored 37 points on 13-for-22 shooting including 4-for-6 from deep after missing all nine attempts from three against the Pelicans the previous night. With another triple-double from Russell Westbrook, his 25th on the season, and scoring off the bench from Ish Smith and Robin Lopez who combined for 31 points on an efficient 13-for-18 shooting, Washington rolled to an easy victory against the lottery-bound Pistons.

Deni Avdija – Photo Credit: Washington Wizards

Just three points from Deni Avdija may not appear as much, but he was a +20 differential when on the floor for Washington and accumulated a potpurri of statistics with five rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block. Avdija continues to showcase his ability handling the ball on the fast break and making the correct reads to his teammates and then showed off an alley-oop pass to Russell Westbrook as the cherry on top of the Wizards’ victory. Avdija is not going to put up crazy eye-popping numbers on the box score most if any nights, but the intangibles he provides already is complementing the Wizards nicely.

“It’s been great because he accepts every ounce of critcism, offering a helping hand, advice, whatever the case may be,” Bradley Beal described the always willing to learn rookie. “He’s open to it throughout the game. He’s not going to bark back at you, he’s a very receptive rookie and he’s had his ups and downs. I always try to tell him, just embrace every one of them. I mess up a lot during the game, too. Just look at me, I might mess up a play or turn the ball over, but I’m not going to stop playing. You have to continue to do more throughout the game. He’s done that throughout the year, continues to stay engaged, understanding that this year is going to be a year of growth and it has been and he’s done exceptionally well with handling it because we’ve thrown him in the fire plenty of times. He accepts it. The sky is the limit for him, we just need him to continue to stay level headed and keep growing.”

Washington will return to the court on Monday when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder in what will be the first of two matchups between the two teams next week. Alex Len (ankle) and Rui Hachimura (knee) left the game on Saturday due to injury and will be re-evaluated on Sunday.

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