The NBA is back! Despite the loss tonight, the Wizards are starting the season off well. “We know we can compete with every team in the league” Coach Scott Brooks shared after tonight’s season opener against the Philly 76ers. With 20 turnovers in tonight’s game, Brooks said it will definitely be something they’ll clean up.
Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook said repeatedly that they “don’t like moral victories” but are proud of the accomplishments they made tonight as a team and individually. Russell Westbrook becomes the first player in Wizards franchise history to get a triple-double (double-digit points in 3 stat categories) in his debut game. Westbrook had 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 15 assists. Tonight’s game marks his 147th with a triple-double during his career. He is only 34 games away from beating the record holder, Oscar Robertson, who is sitting at 181 games.
Celebrating this accomplishment wasn’t a priority for Russ. He shared that he didn’t play well enough, “I’m kind of disappointed. I don’t like moral victories” and adds that he has to be better next game. The Wizards won’t see the 76ers again until January 6th but of course, each player is dissecting each play from tonight. Beal shared with the media that Emidd was their focal point and their goal was to make him uncomfortable, “We came out in the second half, way more physical. It was great to see us make those adjustments on the fly.”
Normally each team has a month before training camp to get adjusted to being back in the flow but of course, this year has been like no other so things are very different. When I asked Westbrook about his pregame routine, he shared that he hasn’t made any changes from what he’s done in the past. Coach Brooks backed that up by saying during tonight’s pregame presser that Westbrook is always in game-mode, “You don’t want to mess with him on gameday. Russ comes with a different energy.”
That energy is being felt all over and the team is definitely feeding off of it. Eventhough the Wizards begin the 2020-2021 season 0-1, they are looking really good and are bringing the excitement. I mean c’mon with a Charles Barkley “Guar-an-teeeee” on the Wizards making the playoffs, the future is looking bright… (The Barkley Guarantee curse will be broken)