Washington Wizards: More preseason praise for Rui Hachimura

Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

In his second preseason showing for the Washington Wizards, Rui Hachimura needed just one half to wow.

He only needed one half of action — just 16 minutes to be exact  — but Washington Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura looked good once again in last night’s preseason game versus the Guangzhou Long-Lions.

The Wizards didn’t need most of their studs in this one. They cruised to a 137-98 victory even with Bradley Beal and Ish Smith getting zero minutes. Hachimura was one of only two players that started last night’s contest and Monday night’s versus the New York KnicksThomas Bryant was the other. Against Guangzhou, Washington was obviously doing some lineup experimentation and seeing what they have from their new guys.

Regardless, Hachimura didn’t miss a beat. In his first appearance at Capital One Arena, the rookie showed off an array of offensive abilities, scoring from the paint, mid-range, the foul line, and behind the arc on his way to 12 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Last night, though, Hachimura was focused on one thing: attacking the basket.

The rookie was aggressive in the lane, scoring all of his points from either the paint or the foul line. He was also a force on the offensive glass, though, grabbing four of his seven rebounds while on that end. He got a good chunk of his points on second-chance opportunities as a result. The scoring is great, obviously, but it’s the willingness to rebound that should excite Wizards fans after watching them struggle on the glass throughout last season.

Hachimura looked calm and comfortable in preseason game number one. In game number two, he looked strong and confident. And everyone’s taking notice.


After last night’s game, coach Scott Brooks had this to say about Hachimura, per Fred Katz of The Athletic: “He plays steady, very calm. He’s solid. He’s gonna be a good player for a long time.”

It echoes what we heard from Brooks after the team’s preseason game earlier this week. “He’s like a wise veteran already. He just plays with a calm influence.”

Plus, it’s not just the coaches, either. Bradley Beal had nothing but praise for his new teammate after seeing Hachimura versus New York.

"“He’s quiet for one, but he’s a workhorse…He’s all about getting better. He’s all about hooping and just playing basketball. That’s all he wants to do. I actually like his demeanor. He’s not too high, he’s not too low. He’s very even keel, and he just goes out there and hoops at the end of the day.”"

Nobody’s handing Rui the Rookie of the Year Award quite yet, but he certainly looks like he’s headed in the right direction. Winning over the coach and the team’s best player along the way certainly can’t hurt, either.

Next. Washington Wizards: Three things to watch during the preseason. dark

Keep an eye on Hachimura during these next preseason games. If he can continue to provide solid minutes, explore his game, and play within himself throughout the preseason, the Wizards could head into the regular season with the steal of the draft. The Wizards are back in action this Friday with another battle against the Knicks.