Troy Brown Jr. is still trying to discover what he can do well at the NBA level, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. The 15th pick in last year’s draft spent much of his rookie season in the G League and only played 52 NBA games. His progress this year was delayed by a calf injury that forced him to miss all of training camp and the preseason. He has been part of the starting lineup since returning, but is averaging just 6.5 PPG on one of the league’s highest-scoring teams.
The Wizards picked up Brown’s third-year option in September and have shown a willingness to be patient with the 20-year-old. He has been taking on the toughest defensive challenges and has displayed good rebounding instincts for such a young player.
“It’s still early for him,” Bradley Beal said. “He’s all right. He’s just gotta find his rhythm. We threw him into the starting lineup right when he came back. We’ve just gotta keep making him comfortable and keep him continuing to be aggressive to instill that confidence.”
There’s more from Washington, D.C.:
- Rob Mahoney of The Ringer examines how the Wizards have been able to assemble the NBA’s second-best offense without adding another star to play alongside Beal. Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura, Ish Smith and Moritz Wagner are all thriving as Washington freely moves the ball without the presence of a dominant guard like John Wall. Hughes notes that the Wizards lead the league with 28.8 assists per game, and that no team has averaged 28 assists for an entire season since 1992/93 except the Warriors of the past three years (Twitter link).
- Terry Rozier tells Hughes in a separate story that he’s thrilled to see former teammate Isaiah Thomas revive his career in Washington after two injury-plagued seasons. “I’m just happy for him, just to get that joy back of playing ball,” Rozier said. “Whether he ever gets back to where he was at or not, I’m sure he’s just happy to be out there and playing. It’s just a guy that I look to as a big brother that taught me a lot in my first two years.”
- Coach Scott Brooks has made it clear to the team’s younger players that minutes have to be earned, relays Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Players can find themselves on the bench quickly if they don’t follow instructions and give a consistent effort while they’re in the game. “You can only play nine or 10 guys, and you can only play five guys at time, and I understand that. It’s hard,” Brooks said. “You got to be strong and have convictions and reasons and the things that are important to you. We have some areas we know we have to develop and get better. My job is to teach.”