Continuing the impressive defensive outings from surprising sources
Probably the two biggest surprises have been the defensive workload taken on by Patrick Baldwin Jr and Tristan Vukcevic. While their scoring outputs were heavily expected, they were known to be defensive liabilities. Instead, they have looked like they could at least have a neutral impact, if not better, at the NBA level this season.
Baldwin Jr in particular has seemed far more locked in, both mentally and physically, on the defensive end of the floor than he did at any point last season for the Golden State Warriors. This is an incredible development for not only the 20-year-old forward, but also the team as they look toward the future.
Vukcevic however, seems to have been watching the Nikola Jokic film as he is playing the same style of defense as his fellow Serbian center. This is to be expected as they are both less athletic than most of the NBA and need to use their size and IQ to impact that end of the floor.
If both of these players are able to keep up their defensive efforts when the regular season starts up again, the Washington Wizards’ future will look that much brighter as they fight into the rotation.