The Wizards led by their young core defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in double overtime last Thursday and it was a sight to see. Second year wing Kelly Oubre led the way with 24 points on 8 of 12 shooting off the bench while rookie Sheldon McClellan added 20 points on 6 of 10 shooting off the bench as well. They weren't alone in making impacts. Rookie guard Tomas Satoransky, who is quickly becoming a DC favorite, posted 10 points, 6 assist and 6 rebounds with Danuel House and Daniel Ochefu both making key plays down the stretch to secure victory. Most people focused on the offensive production, however, it was the energy and enthusiasm during the game that caught Washington's head coach Scott Brooks attention. "Our young guys have been great" said Brooks, "They bring such energy and enthusiasm that it's contagious. They're excited to be here and it's going to be a very difficult decision for myself and the coaching staff to cut the team down to the number we want going into the season. But they've given themselves every chance to make the team, both Daniels and Sheldon, Casper, Jarell and Johnny have been really good with what we're doing and picking things up."
As well as they have played, it's becoming more and more clear that second year wing Kelly Oubre is ready to emerge this upcoming season. Oubre is averaging 20 points, 3 rebounds and 2.5 steals on 59 percent shooting so far this preseason. While Brooks is happy with the production from Oubre, he know's that he is still a work in progress. "He's playing good basketball but there is always room for improvement and growth with Kelly," Brooks said " My job is to keep getting him better month by month, he has a very bright future and he has things you like in a player. He has the athleticism, he has great length and most importantly he has a great work ethic. If you have those things, you have a shot at being a pretty good player."
If the Wizards are to grow into a playoff team and eventually eastern conference contenders, their young core will have to develop and produce consistently. We all know what the Wall's, Beal's, Gortat's and Morris of the world will bring night in night out, the concern is what will the rest of the roster bring night in night out? If the preseason is any indication, that concern will go away fairly quickly. Check out the full interview with Scott Brooks below.
Next game - Monday October 10th at New York Knicks 7:30 p.m.