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Wizards’ Kristaps Porzingis: ‘I think we’re in a good rhythm now’

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Wizards Kristaps Porzingis - 'I think we're in a good rhythm now'
USA Today Network

Washington Wizards forward Kristaps Porzingis believes his team can overcome adversity. Bradley Beal has missed the last three games due to a strained hamstring. On New Year’s Day, the Wizards won 118-95 over the Milwaukee Bucks, extending their win streak to five games. ”

“I think we had the right mindset when we came out,” Porzingis said after the win. “We said, ‘OK, we’ve got to win this one. They’re missing some important guys, so we cannot let one game slip away again.’ We came out ready.”

Based on a number of NBA betting sites, the Wizards possess the seventh-lowest odds to win the championship. Although sportsbooks are not anticipating a playoff appearance this season, stranger things have happened.

“We came out playing our basketball,” added the Wizards forward. “I think we’re in a good rhythm now. Yeah, I can’t wait until we get Brad back, and then we’re full force.”

Milwaukee played without two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who needed rest due to left knee soreness. Because of right knee soreness, Khris Middleton also missed his eighth consecutive game. And to make matters worse, an illness led to Jrue Holiday sitting out.

Kristaps Porzingis says Wizards should take advantage of opponents missing players to help extend their win streak

In Washington’s win over the Bucks, Porzingis ended his performance with 22 points, five rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in 30 minutes of action. He finished 9-of-16 (56.3%) shooting from the field and missed all five of his 3-point attempts.

Through 34 starts, the seven-year veteran is averaging 22.2 points, 8.9 boards, 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game this season. Plus, he’s shooting a career-high 47.8% from the floor. Porzingis has logged 12 double-doubles as well.

Additionally, Kyle Kuzma recorded his first triple-double of the season. The 2020 NBA champ logged 10 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists in 34 minutes played.

“Your objective is to dominate whoever is in front of you,” Kuzma said about Milwaukee missing its stars. “If guys aren’t playing, you’re supposed to beat those teams.”

While the Wizards are still on the outside looking in, they’re now 17-21 and rank 10th in the Eastern Conference standings. Washington ranks 20th in scoring, averaging 112.1 points per game.

As for defense, the team is allowing 112.4 points per contest, which currently sits at the 14th spot. With Bradley Beal, at least the Wizards are better scoring-wise.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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