Washington Wizards forward Kristaps Porzingis believes his team can overcome adversity. Bradley Beal has missed the past three games due to strain. On New Year’s Day, the Wizards extended their winning streak to five games with a 118-95 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. “
“I think we had the right mindset when we came out,” Porzingis said after the win. “We said, ‘OK, we have to win this one.’ We’re missing some important guys, so we can’t let a game slip away again.’ We came out prepared.
Based on several NBA betting sites, the Wizards have the seventh-lowest odds to win the championship. Even though sportsbooks aren’t expecting a playoff appearance this season, stranger things have happened.
Kristaps Porzingis tried to escape with one 😂 pic.twitter.com/WdYOvxm4si
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) January 2, 2023
“We came out playing our basketball,” the Wizards forward added. “I think we’re in a good rhythm right now. Yeah, I can’t wait until we get Brad back, and then we’ll be all set.
Milwaukee played without two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who needed rest because of a sore left knee. Khris Middleton has missed his eighth straight game due to a sore right knee. To make matters worse, illness forced Juror Holliday to sit out.
Kristaps Porzingis said the Wizards need to take advantage of their lackluster opponents to extend their winning streak.
In the win over the Washington Bucks, Porzingis finished with 22 points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 30 minutes of action. He shot 9-of-16 (56.3%) from the field and missed all five of his 3-point attempts.
In 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. Additionally, he is shooting a career-high 47.8% from the floor. Porzingis also recorded 12 double-doubles.
Additionally, Kyle Kuzma recorded his first triple double of the season. The 2020 NBA champion had 10 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in 34 minutes.
In the last 5 games @rui_8mura Average is:
21.4 PTS | 4.4 REB | 1.8 AST pic.twitter.com/ccjCwYYUmq
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 2, 2023
“Your goal is to dominate everything in front of you,” Kuzama said of his missing Milwaukee stars. “If the guys don’t play, you have to beat these teams.”
While the Wizards are still on the outside looking in, they are now 17-21 and in 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings. Washington ranks 20th in scoring average at 112.1 points per game.
Defensively, the team is allowing 112.4 points per contest, which is currently ranked 14th. With Bradley Beal, at least the Wizards are better at scoring.