Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks training camp focus is on defensive improvement
With a new coach, and about half the team being new players, the Washington Wizards decided to hold their five day training camp at the Siegal Center, home of the Virginia Commonwealth University Men's basketball team. The goal was to get away to bond quicker as a team with the start of preseason action a week away. First year Wizards head coach Scott Brooks brings a new philosophy and structure to the team with an emphasis on defense after allowing 104 points a game last season. As point guard John Wall has said on numerous occasions "offense isn't the problem, we can score with anybody, if we defend like we're capable of doing we will be hard to beat on any given night". With that said, lets see what the Wizards have to say about training camp so far.
Scott Brooks -
On player conditioning -
" The guys looked great. Good thing is they're all in shape so you don't have to worry about conditioning or waste part of your day on getting them (players) into condition. They picked things up and really competed."
John Wall's performance -
"He looked good, he did probably 70 percent of the practice. He did some 1 on 1's, some 3 on 3's and did most of the early part of practice. Like I said it's going to be day by day til he improves his conditioning, he couldn't do anything early in the summer (following off season knee surgery) to get his conditioning down so it will take some time but he looked great."
Defensive focus -
" If I had to put a percentage on it I'd say it was 75 percent today and it will be days where it's not as high but I thought that we needed to get that across, the message that we are not going to be just a team looking to score. I think the guys got that message early on."
Brad Beal's demeanor during training camp -
" Great, it was good I mean he should be happy right (laughs) . He's been great, he's been here the last couple of weeks really expanding his game and developing his body. Very athletic, he can score off the dribble, he's one of the best catch an shoot players in the game from 3-point range he can attack the basket but you want your leaders to be engaged in the action and I thought he was terrific all day long."
Kelly Oubre's growth -
" He has a great spirit about the game, he's very excitable. He's a worker he get's into the gym early, he's running the floor and defending guys. He has a lot to learn but we're going to work with him every day and we're going to make him a better player. It help's because he wants to be that better player, but I like his length, his athleticism, his ability to guard multiple positions and with the way the game is played today, he will have to guard the one through four and I think he has the ability to do that."
Second practice -
"In the second practice we will get a lot of offensive work in, not necessarily offensive sets, we will do our fair share of it but development work. I believe in developing players and no matter how old you are and how many years you've played in this league, you still have ways to improve. It's not just the physical line I like to cross I like to cross the mental line as well and everyday we will try to get to that line as much as we can."
On coaching the Wizards young talent -
"Yea I have a lot of experience coaching young players and the thing I tell every player I have coached once you play in the NBA age isn't even in the equation anymore. You guys remind me Kelly (Oubre) is 20, Brad (Beal) is 23, John (Wall) is 26 and Otto (Porter) is 23 I understand that they're young in age but you signed up to be an NBA player and you gotta do what it takes to be an NBA player, you have to take this job serious, be a professional, work every day, and that has nothing to do with age, those are staples that you must have as an NBA player . And the experience that they will have along the way it's up to me to put them in good positions to have success. The age, I don't coach age I coach NBA players and I expect players to represent our team our program in the correct manner."