One major factor contributing to the Wizards‘ success this season is their excellent team chemistry, Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle writes. Trevor Ariza was one of the team’s veteran leaders last season, but when he signed a free agent deal with the Rockets this past summer Washington acted quickly to replace that void by signing Paul Pierce, Creech notes. “You always have a contingency plan for that and that’s what we did,” coach Randy Wittman said. “Nothing ever really surprises you anymore in this league. It was a situation where we would have loved to have Trevor stay. We wanted to make sure we didn’t lose anything in that area with a guy like Trevor. We are trying to move on. We have Paul who has come in here and really moved into that spot.”
Here’s more out of the Southeast Division:
- The Hawks have assigned John Jenkins to the Idaho Stampede, the team announced in a press release. Jenkins is headed to Idaho as part of the flexible assignment rule since Atlanta is without a one-to-one partnership with a D-League team. In one previous stint in the D-League Jenkins appeared in five games, averaging 19.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in 23.8 minutes.
- Adreian Payne has been assigned to the Austin Spurs, the Hawks have announced. This will be Payne’s fourth trek to the D-League this season, and in 11 games Payne has logged 13.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 28.4 minutes per contest.
- The Heat have assigned Shabazz Napier to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, their D-League affiliate, the team has announced. Napier has appeared in 25 games with the Heat this season, averaging 5.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 21.0 minutes while shooting 42.5 percent from the field. This will be Napier’s second sojourn of the season to the D-League.