The Wizards Finally Freed Troy Brown and He Did Not Disappoint | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

The Wizards Finally Freed Troy Brown and He Did Not Disappoint

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Updated: December 30, 2018

(Photo Credit: Kelyn Soong Washington City Paper)

Before the Wizards took on the Hornets, Scott Brooks answered a myriad of questions about the health of John Wall and how his injury and extended absence would impact the team. In the midst of answering questions about who would replace some of Wall’s minutes, Brooks declared that Troy Brown Jr. would play.

This wasn’t the first time Brooks mentioned that Brown would be granted minutes in the regular rotation, but there was a sense of desperation in the air that led assembled media members to believe this was the game when Brooks would actually turn to the team’s first round draft pick.

Coming into last night’s game, Brown Jr. had only played 102 total minutes on the season, the majority of which came in garbage time of many of the team’s blowout losses.  But last night, the rookie from Oregon came into the game and scored a career-high nine points (all in the first half) and in the process earned the adoration from the fans who had been clamoring in person and on social media for him to play. #FreeTroyBrown had become a real thing on Twitter, as Wizards faithful failed to see the logic in Scott Brooks replacing the traded Austin Rivers’ minutes with Ron Baker over Brown despite the former not scoring a single point in his Wizards tenure. The frustrations never seemed to get to Brown, who let his play do the talking on this night.

First came a dunk on a beauty of a cut to the basket. Then came a driving layup, followed by a made three pointer. Brown moved on the court with fluidity and looked as if he belonged.

“He’s excellent. Today was evidence of being ready when your name is called.” said Beal postgame when asked about how he was able to help his rookie prepare to make his first meaningful contributions of the season.

Brown’s feel for the game was what initially made him a target of the Wizards front office and coaches in June, and last night  he finally seemed “ready” enough for the coaches to trust him. Scott Brooks had basically insinuated that the team was being patient with Brown, allowing him to hone his skills with the team’s newly minted G- League affiliate in order to gain the proper experience to get him ready to contribute in the big leagues. “Give coach [Jarell] Christian and their staff, the Go-Go credit. They work with him a lot,” said Brooks post-game.

Brown has played in six games with the Go-Go averaging 18 points per game on 49-percent shooting from the field and 34-percent from the three-point line. He has learned how to play on the next level, as well as the dedication and professionalism it takes to be an NBA player. The team would have Brown flying across the country to play or dress in games with both the Wizards and the Go-Go. Sometimes he would have to be prepared to play three days in a row, even flying into D.C. on the same day once in order to be on the Wizards bench just in case.

Instead of being bitter about his lack of playing time, Brown stayed positive and looked to the veterans on the team for words of wisdom, while emulating their attention to detail and made sure to give his vets credit after the game “I’ve been working hard for a very long time. Just watching them out there and being able to get that experience. Talk to John, talk to Brad, talk to Jeff and just pick their brains so that I can see whatever they’re seeing and then go out they and execute on what they’ve been telling me.” Brown has been a visual learner so far in his NBA career but he’s also gained–albeit in a limited capacity– the tangible experience of being on the court and getting better. “It’s just all about getting reps, being able to go down there and have an impact and make plays, do the little things down there and be able to come and execute it up here. To come out here and play with that same confidence, it helped me,” Brown said as he got his first taste of a post-game media scrum.

When asked if the coaching staff had come to him and told him he would be playing tonight, Brown said no, but he treated his pregame routine as if he were going to be playing. During the locker room media availability before the game, Bradley Beal came back into the locker room after his pregame routine and sat in the chair in front of his locker to regroup. At that point, Brown, who had an extra pep in this step, walked out of the training room towards the locker stall directly next to Beal. Beal looked at him and asked “Are you ready?” Brown replied “You know it.”

The calmness with which Brown replied made it seem as if the moment was not too big for him, and in fact, he was ready. Brown stepped in as a more than competent ancillary role player and his contributions helped the Wizards break their losing streak with a much needed win. The circumstances surrounding Brown finally getting his opportunity to show the Wizards what he can do on the court were not ideal, but as Beal said “the team has to have a next man up mentality,” well call up number six from Las Vegas, Nevada because he’s in line and prepared to seize his opportunity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Troy Haliburton on Twitter
Troy Haliburton
Writer
Troy Haliburton is a native Washingtonian, and graduate of Gonzaga College High School and Morehouse College. Bylines on bylines on bylines.

Will write for food.