Washington Wizards Summer League: A better showing against Boston

Patrick Baldwin Jr of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images)
Patrick Baldwin Jr of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images) /

On day 3 of the Las Vegas Summer League, the Washington Wizards played their second game of the tournament and beat the Boston Celtics 103-98. The win came on the heels of another solid defensive performance by the young Wizards. The halfcourt offense was not perfect once again, but the Wizards did enough defensively and in transition to pull away in the fourth quarter.

Seven players scored in double digits for the Washington Wizards. Despite the egalitarian distribution of points for the Wizards, one player still shined brighter than the rest: Ryan Rollins.

Rollins, who seemed overstretched in his role as the primary creator for the Wizards in their first Summer League game, had a much better two-way performance against Boston. Rollins, who set the tone both offensively and defensively, finished the game with 17 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists, and 5 steals. His passing and playmaking were much improved in this game, ending with only one turnover.

Rollins’ on-ball pressure caused many of Boston’s 23 turnovers. Washington was able to finish with a whopping 15 steals for the game, leading to 28 fast-break points for the Wizards.

This will be the key to winning games for the Wizards Summer League team. They will most likely struggle in the half-court, but if they force enough turnovers and misses, they can get out in transition and be effective with the likes of Bilal Coulibaly.

Coulibaly displayed his elite physical and athletic tools once again. His speed and bounce in the open court are breathtaking, making him very difficult to stop. His shot and half-court offense are a work in progress, but he had a few impressive finishes in this game that bodes very well for his future.

Another positive from this game was the performance of Quenton Jackson who is on a two-way contract with the Washington Wizards. Jackson was dynamic and aggressive on both ends of the floor, finishing with 13 points on 6 field goal attempts, and 3 steals of his own, only in 14 minutes. His decent size and athleticism for his position make him a potential backup point guard in the NBA.

Baldwin Jr also continued to impress in his second game with the Wizards. After taking over the starting power forward role, he maintained his aggressive and accurate shooting performance, finishing with 2 for 4 from beyond the arc. He is a real shooting threat that the Wizards can run plays for. Defenses fear his shot, causing them to close out hard. Baldwin Jr was able to get a four-point play in one example of that.

Washington plays their next Summer League game against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night at 10:30 pm EST. It’s unclear whether Victor Wembanyama will play in that game, but let’s hope the Wizards bring the same level of energy and effort regardless.