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Video: Hyped up Wizards center Thomas Bryant almost took out referee

thomas bryant

Washington Wizards center Thomas Bryant likely avoided a huge fine after nearly KO’ing an official in Saturday’s game against the Indiana Pacers, but he had a good reason.

After inhaling a layup, he was hysterical in celebration.

Bryant, 21, has been a dramatically-different player in his second campaign in the NBA. After appearing in just 15 games in his rookie season last year, he has made a substantial jump in every statistical category. The Indiana University product has averaged 9.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game this season for the Wizards.

The big rejection by Bryant couldn’t have been a better confidence-booster. Prior to the 119-112 loss to the Pacers, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks elected to bench Bryant for recently-acquired big man Bobby Portis.

“We want to see what we have (in Portis),” Brooks told reporters before the game when discussing the lineup shuffling. The Wizards have lost nine of their previous 12 games, so it’s no surprise why Brooks felt a change was in order.

Portis and Jabari Parker were recently acquired by Washington via trade from the Chicago Bulls. Portis posted just seven points, two assists, and four rebounds in 17 minutes as a starter.

Parker, who played an astute 28 minutes, provided a 12-point performance off the bench. It’s fair to say that the former No. 2 overall pick will receive the next opportunity to join the starting lineup if he keeps up his play.

While John Wall continues to be sidelined, as he will be for the remainder of the 2018-19 season (heel), Scott Brooks and the Wizards are forced to ponder what’s next and what’s best for the franchise moving forward.