2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook made his debut for the Washington Wizards on Saturday night and enjoyed a winning start to his stint with Washington. Westbrook, who was acquired in a trade for John Wall, scored 8 points on a 4-of-10 shooting, grabbed 7 rebounds and also had 4 assists in 17 minutes played in his Wizards debut.
The Wizards defeated the Detroit Pistons 99-96 in their preseason finale and now in great spirits they await their season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers. "It was good," Westbrook said of his first game as a Wizard.
"We won, the most important part ... I like where we were tonight. "My job is to try to set the tone. Have them be ready to play." Bradley Beal, who shares the backcourt with Westbrook, scored 15 points and most importantly absolutely enjoyed playing alongside the 2017 NBA MVP.
"It just felt great," Beal said of playing with Westbrook. "It was great energy ... I don't think it will be tough as people are trying to make it out to be. We both do a really good job off of feeding off of each other, just adjusting to how each other plays.
"The most important thing is his pace and energy he brings to the table ... it just works out well. We just continue to play off each other, feed off each other and push each other."
Westbrook wants to help Beal elevate his game
"Our job is to make the game easier for him," Westbrook said.
"Find a way to constantly feed him the ball so he can score at a high rate. He has shown he is able to do that. He is going to be great. I am not worried about Brad one bit." The Wizards, who selected Wall at No. 1 in the 2010 NBA draft, split with their long-time star to acquire Westbrook.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks is a big Westbrook fan and he hopes the 2017 NBA MVP will lead the team to success. "Really good," Brooks said when asked about Westbrook's first preseason action. "He's been looking like that all training camp.
His spirit is about winning, not about stats. He plays the right way and teaches our young fellas the right things. He's great. "He's nothing short of spectacular, what he tells the guys, how he coaches his teammates and they listen. What he's done, how he prepares and how he trains and how he looks at the game is priceless."