The Washington coach and the team's players compliment Danny Avdia after the victory in San Antonio (@washwizardsil)
15.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 47 percent from the field.
These are Danny Abadia's impressive numbers in the last eight games, since Washington traded Roy Hachimura and decided to give him more minutes and responsibility.
In the midst of what is arguably the best season of his NBA career, Avdia spoke with reporter Chris Miller's "Off The Bench" podcast about his recent change in attitude, as well as the positive influence Kristaps Porzingis has had on him.
"I feel that I belong in the NBA, that I am able to play at the highest levels. Now I need to be stable and add a few more elements to my game," he says.
"I know that teams will start studying me, they will understand how I penetrate the basket and how I get my points, so I must continue to develop. I am aware of this, but I also allow myself to simply enjoy what has been happening lately."
Much more relaxed in attack.
Avdia (Photo: Reuters)
Avdia was asked about the trade that sent Hachimura to the Lakers, and became a turning point in his season.
According to him, "In European basketball, where I came from, the team is treated like a family. You form relationships with players, you bond with them, it's different compared to the NBA. Here it's business after all. You meet new friends, and suddenly one day they leave. I And Roy we got along great, I enjoyed playing with him. The trade came and I started playing much better, but I think it's also related to the change I made in my head," Abdia says, revealing details behind the scenes.
"I had difficult conversations with people in the group - I can't say with whom and for what - but they made me wake up, and activated something in me. I took things personally, and from that moment I started to make a change."
Avdia enjoys the collaboration with Kristaps Porzingis on and off the court.
The Latvian has recently become one of his closest friends in the team, and he is helping him flourish.
"I was waiting for there to be a European player here who took a path similar to the one I took. We don't have the same personality, but sometimes we just think the same," Avdia says.
"I'm glad he's here, he helps me a lot. We had a good relationship last year, and he kept developing this season. In general, it's the best atmosphere the team has had since I've been here."
And what is the next step in his evolution as an actor?
"I want to get better at so many things. I'm excited to work on my game because I feel like I have high potential. I can do everything on the court solidly, but want to be great at a few specific things. I'm very versatile, I can keep several positions, can play several positions in the attack as well, I can score or pass. Yes, I'm starting to feel much more comfortable finishing under the basket. I like to initiate moves and create for teammates, sometimes there is a feeling that our offense is a little stuck, and I like to solve it." .
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"No one is happier than me": Porzingis' part in Avdia's boom
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Great cooperation. Avdia and Porzingis (Photo: GettyImages, Mike Stobe)
In an article published yesterday about the special connection created between him and Porzingis, Anthony Gill told how Avdia became a beloved character in the locker room.
"He makes everyone love him," said Gil, Avdia's regular roommate in away games.
"He just sits in our room at the hotel and thinks about the stupidest or most controversial thing he can say, then comes to the locker room and says it. Somehow, Porzingis always backs him up. The connection between them is also excellent on the floor, it's fun to see."