'Resilient' Wizards feel good about summer despite 1-3 record originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Wizards Summer League team had a trying last few weeks.
They began play in the Vegas Summer League only after a handful of players entered the NBA's Health and Safety Protocols, leaving them without some of their most important players for the Summer League roster on the floor. That included starting point guard Cassius Winston.
In a Monday loss to the Pacers, they dropped to 1-3 over the last week of play. But, as with every Summer League season, the record wasn’t the key focus.
“They came out, they worked hard, they really tried to execute what we were working on,” coach Mike Miller said. “They showed up every day, they worked hard, they had a good focus. I think if you were gonna use one word, this is a resilient group for a group of guys that have come together. The guys that we started training camp with, a lot of those guys weren’t here on the final day just because of the different things that happened and the different protocols.”
The Wizards’ first round draft choice, Corey Kispert, averaged 9.5 points per game while playing in all four games. He shot 29.2 percent from deep, not on-par to what he was used to in college, but showed flashes in each game of a high basketball IQ and defensive intensity. In his first game, he was lauded by Miller for his desire to get on the floor for a loose ball.
His quick-release shot wasn’t exaggerated either, as the Wizards and new coach Wes Unseld Jr. will have a nice versatile option to put in the lineup come the fall.
“I thought he handled himself really well,” Miller said of Kispert. “I thought he showed a high level of maturity, he showed a very good understanding of how to play, I think he saw different defenses and different reads that he had to make. For him, I think that really helps accelerate his development as an NBA player.”
The 31st overall pick in the draft, Isaiah Todd, averaged 8.0 points per game in three games played. At just 19 years old, he also showed flashes of why the Wizards made the move to acquire him. He’s an athletic big who isn’t afraid to shoot the ball (he put up 11.7 shots per game) and certainly has the athleticism to become a force moving forward.
There were also players like Caleb Homesley, who flew under the radar but had a strong summer as well. The 6-foot-6 forward averaged 12.0 points per game, showing he could have a future in the NBA.
“I think it was a great week for us, everybody on our team learned a lot and especially me,” Homesley said. “I just wanted to be a sponge and absorb everything I could. I think I got a lot out of it. The coaching staff did a good job in teaching us, they’re a new staff, we’re new players coming into the NBA, I’m a young guy, just being able to mesh us together I think the coaching staff did a good job.”