Russell Westbrook
Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Washington Wizards All-Star guard Bradley Beal offered some high praises for his backcourt partner Russell Westbrook.

“He’s been great. I knew him briefly before he got to the team, but then when he got here, it was just this total illusion that everybody had of him,” said Beal on the Off The Bench podcast. “‘Oh he’s hotheaded, he doesn’t listen.’ It’s the total opposite. He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. You can say that because of his approach. He loves basketball. He loves everything about the game.”

After starting the season 6-17, the Wizards have won four straight games and currently sit at 10-17.

Beal is leading the NBA in scoring at 32.9 points per game, while shooting 47.8 percent from the field.

Westbrook has racked up eight triple-doubles this season and is averaging 19.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 9.7 assists per game.

Despite being in his first season with the Wizards, Westbrook, 32, has taken on a leadership role with the Wizards this season.

“My job is to make sure to continue to push him and bring the best out of him every night,” Westbrook said of Beal after the team’s 118-111 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Head coach Scott Brooks also appreciates the role Westbrook has played this season.

“The guy’s a championship player. How he prepares. How he talks to our guys,” said Brooks. “He forces the team to be ready.”

In a wide open Eastern Conference, as well as a play-in tournament at the end of the season for the No. 7-10 seeds, the Wizards will have a chance to make a push for the playoffs if they can hang around one of those spots.

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