Danny Avdi was by no means easy as a rookie this season. Compiled at just 19, he didn’t have a summer league, a shortened training camp and a preseason. In January, he was in the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols for weeks.
And all the way he was put in a difficult situation for anyone his age, relying on him veterans who want to win now and on the team with the aspiration to play. Although they do not meet these goals, pressure to carry them out was present.
Just listen to what Bradley Beal revealed on Wednesday night after the Wizards ’win over Magic.
“[Russell Westbrook] yells at him if he doesn’t crack the ball. Whenever Russ yells, do what the hell he says and let the results play out as best they can. We all constantly encourage him to be aggressive in the search for his staff, ”Beal said.
Indeed, Westbrook was tough on Audia, and so was Beal. Like head coach Scott Brooks. That’s because they know he can be a really good player, which he also showed in Wednesday’s win with 16 points and five rebounds. He shot 6 for 10 from the field and 4 for 7 from three, which he missed for the maximum in his career.
This continued what had recently progressed for the Wizards. In the last six games, Avdija has averaged 10.5 points and 8.8 rebounds. Although his shot percentage has remained lower than the Wizards would have liked, 40.4% overall and 32.3% of the three during these six games, many are encouraged by the trajectory.
“It is definitely in the right direction. You can just see it in his face, “Brooks said.” He smiled. I even said during the game, “I like to see you smile.” He said ‘Coach, I’m having fun.’ That’s the point of the game. Have fun every night. Entertainment should not be based on a referral or a miss. If that’s the case, if you’re a great shooter, you’ll just have fun every other shot. “
Avdija has been generally happier lately, which is understandable considering how his game has been going up and down this season. Prior to these last six games, in his previous 26 he had averaged just 5.3 points while from three he had shot 24.3%. He was in and out of the starting lineup, and sometimes even rotation.
But he’s playing with more confidence now and that was seen on Wednesday when he turned to run to the floor before one of his threesome even went through the basket.
“He was like that when he first stepped into DC. He was just a confident player. He wasn’t confident, he just believes in himself, ”Beal said.
“That’s one thing I love about him. He doesn’t deviate from anyone. He doesn’t deviate from the challenges of the coach or me or Russ. He accepts everything and fights stubbornly against it. You always appreciate a warrior like that.”
Beal said he has noticed that Avdija is becoming more aware of the tendencies of other players and this has helped him find his role offensive. He now understands better when and where to cut, and when and where both Beal and Westbrook will drive to the edge. Knowing these things can better set you up for a kick or just get out of the way and give them space.
These intricacies remind us that it will take time for Avdija to realize his potential, which at this point still seems significant. The ninth overall pick just five months ago, Audi was chosen by Washington because of its long-standing advantage. It was a kind of project given his age and the fact that he was a role player at the last stop, with Maccabi from Tel Aviv from the Euroleague.
Anyone who expected to come in and light up the NBA right away was wrong. The wizards chose Audia because of what they think will be 23 years old, not the 20-year-old he now has. Its combination of 6 feet in size and height in speed and playing in transition could be special if developed properly.
But it will take time and probably a lot of patience.
“Did he go through the so-called beginner wall a month ago [I don’t know]”Brooks said.
“Sometimes we all expect it and want it right away, and he’s no different from all the other young players in this league. He came in as a 19-year-old. I don’t coach him as a 19-year-old. I train him as a guy who signed up for an NBA player. you will rise and fall, and he had his share. “