Defense isn't going to win a championship for the Wizards this season but it has helped them in their recent turnaround that has seen the team win 10 of their last 17 games. In their last nine contests, the Wizards have not allowed opponents to reach 100 points. Statistically, the Wizards have the sixth best defense in the NBA allowing 95.2 points a game.

"It's a mindset,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said recently about the improved defense. "It's just a matter of five guys being connected and we're connected right now, no question. We're covering for each other and that's the main thing. We've got five guys that are committed defensively."

In the win over Milwaukee on Monday night, the Bucks scored 32 points in the first quarter but the Wizards allowed only 58 points the rest of the way in the 102-90 victory. The Wizards held Brooklyn to just 11 points in the second quarter of last Friday's 89-74 Washington win.

In the midst of this season-high four game win streak, the Wizards are giving up only 87.5 points a game.

"Defense is just effort,” Wizards forward Trevor Ariza said. "You have to put effort into defense."

Wizards guard John Wall said the coaching staff has gotten the team to buy in to the defensive philosophy.