Category Archives: Bradley Beal

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Photos: Washington Wizards Opening Night vs. Miami Heat

The Washington Wizards dropped their season opener against the Miami Heat on Thursday night at Capital One Arena. You can read the takeaways and watch locker room video from what John Wall called a devastating loss. Check out the photos Hoop District shot from the District below.
Click to view slideshow.


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John Wall impressively secures the Wizards a preseason win over the Pistons

Wizards 102
Pistons 97
October 10, 2018 | Little Caesars Arena | Detroit, MI
In their fourth and final preseason game against an NBA opponent, the Washington Wizards made the trip from New York City to Detroit for a matchup with the Pistons. Both the starting and bench units looked formidable in the first half as the road team built up a 14-point lead. Detroit would fight back starting in the late stages of the third quarter to make things competitive down the stretch, but Washington eventually prevailed.
 
Pace, Pace, Pace
Along with sharing and defense, pace was one of the three points of emphasis from Scott Brooks coming into training camp this season. For the most part, the Wizards played with great pace against the Pistons on Wednesday. John Wall wants to get into the front court with 19 seconds on the shot clock so that if needed they can get to their third or fourth offensive sets instead of settling for their second. In addition, Washington wants to score more points in transition given they have a Ferrari at point guard. They had 14 fast break points against Detroit. One way the Wizards are getting up and down the floor quicker, off of a miss or make by the opposing team, is having the closest ball-handler bring the rock up the court. That can be Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Austin Rivers or whoever else is capable on the floor. With Porter being a plus rebounder, you can see him bringing the ball up the court often this season. In part, this will lead to players other than Wall initiating the offense and having the five-time All-Star play off-ball at times.
 
More Experimenting with Lineups
Ian Mahinmi had five fouls in less than 12 minutes after picking up three in the first five minutes of the game. Markieff Morris flirted with disqualification with five fouls in his 26 minutes of play. Jason Smith did foul out in 27 minutes of play but not before totaling 14 points and six rebounds. Andre Drummond had his way on the glass with 19 rebounds but Washington did an adequate job on him as it took him 16 shot attempts to get his 17 points and he also had six turnovers. With the foul trouble, Brooks got creative with some lineups as the three-guard unit with Austin Rivers continues to be a staple. The group that finished the game was Rivers over Porter joined by the usual backcourt of Wall and Beal as well as Jeff Green and Markieff Morris. Porter had a poor shooting game with just four points on 1-for-6 shooting, which could explain him playing only 23 minutes. Other lineups that Brooks tossed out there included center Porter flanked by power forward Tomas Satoransky. I do not think you will be seeing that in the regular season.

Now this is a SMALL lineup (granted it was for one possession at the end of the half)PG: John WallSG: Bradley BealSF: Austin RiversPF: Tomas SatoranskyC: Otto Porter pic.twitter.com/QoDLYZug66
— HoopDistrict (@HoopDistrictDC) October 11, 2018

 
John Wall Is A Baaaaad Man *Stephen A. voice*
The Wizards point guard finished with 32 points on 12-for-23 shooting including 3-for-7 from beyond the arc to go along with nine assists, five rebounds, three steals, a block, and a dagger. With a three-second differential between the game and shot clock at the end of the fourth quarter and Washington up three, Wall took his time, got to his spot on the floor (a long mid-range two that Brooks wants to limit) and drained the jumper as he faded away from former Wizard Ish Smith. Wall also had tough buckets down the stretch as things went back and forth including a nice drive to the paint where he stopped on a dime to allow Drummond to fly by before laying the ball in the basket. In true point guard fashion, Wall rewarded Markieff Morris with a dunk after the latter was able to strip Drummond on the defensive end. Beal also hit a 16-foot step back jumper with under a minute to go. Of course, Wall and Beal’s play in the clutch last season was a big storyline as the duo seemed to underperform shooting the ball in those moments. Nonetheless, after a frustrating injury filled year last season, Wall looks ready to begin the next chapter.

Next Game: Washington will face the Guangzhou Long-Lions on Friday at Capital One Arena. The Chinese Basketball Association team featuring Marreese Speights will be a matchup that you may not even see the Wizards starters as the future Capital City Go-Go players will get run. Washington will then open the regular season at home next Thursday against the Miami Heat.


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From the Locker Room: Bradley Beal says Washington Wizards will be beautiful

The Washington Wizards beat the Miami Heat, 121-114, in their second preseason game of the season. You can read about the three biggest takeaways from the game here. Here is what John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Markieff Morris had to say in the locker room.
John Wall
On playing off the ball at times:
“I’m fine with that. There’s just different ways where teams can’t load up on me all the time. Most of the time I’m getting the ball in transition or pick and rolls. But nine times out of 10 the ball’s going to end up back in my hands. It just gives these guys the opportunity to get more comfortable with the ball and push the ball. One time Otto [Porter] had a fast break and I got in the lane, he threw it to me, I had a lay-up — I just missed it. I’m just trying to find ways to score so the other team can’t load up on me every time.”

John Wall is open to the idea of not being on ball all the time because it means teams cannot load up on him as much. pic.twitter.com/aQI3qqRYDx
— HoopDistrict (@HoopDistrictDC) October 6, 2018

On the three-guard lineup with Austin Rivers joining himself and Bradley Beal:
“I think it’s great, even having Otto there with changing the offense. Whoever gets the ball just run, push it and try to get it out so we can make plays for each other. We did a great job today of moving the ball. Defensively it was great. We had times where there was a lapse and we got pretty bad and offense didn’t move the ball as efficiently. Other than that, guys got shots and made some plays.”

John Wall calls the three guard lineup with Austin Rivers "fun" and "great". pic.twitter.com/x1xhvb9V67
— HoopDistrict (@HoopDistrictDC) October 6, 2018

Bradley Beal
On he and the team shooting more three-pointers:
“We all gotta get our legs up under us even more. It’s not going to be easy, especially when you are playing your regular minutes. Coach is working us back into the groove a little bit more. You just gotta shoot them and shoot them with confidence. Everybody always says ‘next shot, next shot,’ so it was next shot, not even just for me, but for everybody. I think we have that motto it just creates a great atmosphere for everybody and creates confidence for everybody. We are confident in the next man, believe in the next man to be able step up and knock down a shot or make the best play available for the team. We just got to continue to pound it in practice and continue to drill it and stick to it because it works. Don’t knock it until we fail at it, I guess.”

#Wizards have done a good job getting the three-point attempts higher, but haven't shot their usual percentage yet.
Bradley Beal says the team just needs to continue to have the next shot mentality and stick to it. pic.twitter.com/Rx7Vmie41Y
— HoopDistrict (@HoopDistrictDC) October 6, 2018

On the rejuvenated Ian Mahinmi:
“He’s got a lot of bounce in his step. He’s like Ian in Indiana a couple of years ago. We are happy that he’s healthy for one. That’s most important. More than anything. It’s just his confidence. The role that he is in… He understands that we need him on both ends of the floor. He’s one of our best defenders. He’s able to pass and score the ball offensively down low. He’s shooting threes, now too. Everybody’s doing it. Everybody’s getting better. That’s the most important thing. We are all getting better individually. It’s going to be beautiful when we all just put it together collectively.”

Bradley Beal on the healthy Ian Mahinmi: "He's got a lot of bounce in his step."The All-Star point guard then proclaims "we're all getting better individually, it's going to be beautiful when we all just put it together collectively." pic.twitter.com/QTdYpye9Et
— HoopDistrict (@HoopDistrictDC) October 6, 2018

Markieff Morris
On how he balances playing hard with pre-season play:

Markieff Morris was asked if he limits himself since it is just preseason. Nope, Keef had a double-double in just 26 minutes.
"I'm going hard, I'm going as hard as I would in a real game. That's the only way you can prepare yourself for the real season." pic.twitter.com/7rXj591EOa
— HoopDistrict (@HoopDistrictDC) October 6, 2018


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Washington Wizards keep shooting in preseason win over Miami Heat

Wizards 121
Heat 114
October 5, 2018 | Capital One Area | Washington, D.C.
The Washington Wizards will open the regular season in less than two weeks against the Miami Heat who were their opponents in the second preseason game on Friday night. Scott Brooks did not put too much stock in how the starters played against Miami to forecast their opening night performance, which was further emphasized with the Heat having eight rotation players out with injuries. The Washington starters played more than 20 minutes and into the third quarter. They showed flashes of how good they could be offensively, but also had lapses that need to be nipped in the butt. With Miami relying on deep reserves late, the Washington youngsters were able to close out a victory for the home team.
Three-Pointers Remain in Fashion
Despite being the second best three-point shooting team last season at 37.8 percent, only behind the Golden State Warriors at 39.1 percent, Washington was 23rd in the NBA in three-pointers attempted at just 26.1 per game. Brooks has stressed taking more three-pointers in years past but never to this degree. Everyone is shooting threes from Dwight Howard to Ian Mahinmi. In the preseason opener, the Wizards launched 38 from deep, but only made eight. On Friday against Miami, the home team was 12-for-39 (30.8 percent) from beyond the arc. Austin Rivers was one of the players struggling from deep, starting 0-for-4, but was finally able to knock down his first shot of the night and let out a sigh of relief while looking to the rafters. Although Brooks wants Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. attempting more threes a game, his main priority is eliminating long twos early in the shot clock and not passing up open threes.
“I just want good threes,” Brooks said. “I’m not just saying jack up threes just for the sake of us become top 10 or top five in the league in attempts.  We want good shots. The things that we are focusing on, the quick long twos, our percentages aren’t good. So keep moving the basketball and find a better shot. And not pass up threes. And if that leads up to 38 threes great, and if it leads up to 29 threes great. We just need to not pass up threes and take those quick long twos.”
“We all gotta get our legs up under us even more,” Beal said. “It’s not going to be easy, especially when you are playing your regular minutes. Coach is working us back into the groove a little bit more. You just gotta shoot them and shoot them with confidence. Everybody always says ‘next shot, next shot,’ so it was next shot, not even just for me, but for everybody. I think we have that motto it just creates a great atmosphere for everybody and creates confidence for everybody. We are confident in the next man, believe in the next man to be able step up and knock down a shot or make the best play available for the team. We just got to continue to pound it in practice and continue to drill it and stick to it because it works. Don’t knock it until we fail at it, I guess.”

#Wizards have done a good job getting the three-point attempts higher, but haven't shot their usual percentage yet.
Bradley Beal says the team just needs to continue to have the next shot mentality and stick to it. pic.twitter.com/Rx7Vmie41Y
— HoopDistrict (@HoopDistrictDC) October 6, 2018

Ian Mahinmi Looking Good, Feeling Good, Playing Good
It is unimaginable that the center will ever be worth the exorbitant four-year, $64 million contract he was gifted during the irresponsible summer of 2016. The reason the deal was absolutely ludicrous was Mahinmi’s inability to stay on the floor due to injury and even contribute reasonably as a backup. For the first time with Washington, Mahinmi enters the season not rehabbing an injury and had a full summer to train, which has led to his best shape in years. With Dwight Howard continuing to deal with a back injury that has kept him out for the last two-plus weeks (he will not play against New York on Monday but is planning to travel with the team), Mahinmi had 11 points on 3-for-4 shooting, four rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in 24 minutes as a starter. Should it be necessary, the French native could fill in decently for Howard to begin the regular season. The former NBA champion is not worried about if he will need to start right now, taking it game by game, as his “it’s never about me” mentality will make him available for whatever is needed. His self-proclaimed “nothing crazy, nothing fancy” style of play makes adjusting from the first or second unit simple.
“(Being healthy) is critical for all players,” Brooks diagnosed. “We’ve had some unfortunate injuries to start a season, Markieff [Morris], John [Wall], Ian [Mahinmi]. But everyone has been healthy all summer long, so that’s a big positive. With Ian he’s moving his best he’s moved since he’s been here. We need him to continue to do that. He’s working on his game. Like I said the other night, he’s working on his threes. This last season he really put a lot of focus on making his free throws and I think he got up to 70 or 71 percent, something like that. So that’s what you want from your players. No matter how old you are in this league, you still have to work on your game to improve. Sometimes there are small improvements, sometimes there are bigger jumps. They even closed out hard on him at a corner three attempt. The league is worried about his three-point shooting.”

Bradley Beal on the healthy Ian Mahinmi: "He's got a lot of bounce in his step."The All-Star point guard then proclaims "we're all getting better individually, it's going to be beautiful when we all just put it together collectively." pic.twitter.com/QTdYpye9Et
— HoopDistrict (@HoopDistrictDC) October 6, 2018

John Wall Playing Off Ball?
As with Tomas Satoransky, I think it is inefficient to play Wall anywhere but point guard because that is where he excels the most (and he is still not a great three-point shooter). Brooks is experimenting with taking some of the pressure off of his five-time All-Star though. Whether it is Beal, Rivers, or even Otto Porter handling the ball instead, Wall is not the primary ball handler on some possessions. The ball will probably still be in Wall’s hands 90 percent of the time come the regular season but Washington is certainly trying to get creative with their offense in hopes of pushing the pace.
“I liked tonight in that third quarter, even I forgot a couple of times, I wanted him to play off the ball and the first three or four or five minutes,” Brooks explained. “Otto [Porter] was running the point and then after that Brad [Beal] was running the point. So I’m trying to get him to expand his game and trying to challenge him to be more of a playmaker on the catch instead of on the dribble. I think he can be really good at that. He’s not real sure about that yet but we need to continue to give him reps at that position.”
“I’m fine with that,” Wall said about playing off ball. “There’s just different ways where teams can’t load up on me all the time. Most of the time I’m getting the ball in transition or pick and rolls. But nine times out of 10 the ball’s going to end up back in my hands. It just gives these guys the opportunity to get more comfortable with the ball and push the ball. One time Otto [Porter] had a fast break and I got in the lane, he threw it to me, I had a lay-up — I just missed it. I’m just trying to find ways to score so the other team can’t load up on me every time.”

John Wall is open to the idea of not being on ball all the time because it means teams cannot load up on him as much. pic.twitter.com/aQI3qqRYDx
— HoopDistrict (@HoopDistrictDC) October 6, 2018

That said, Brooks gushed about Wall’s ridiculous passing ability. “Like I said many times over the last two years, John [Wall] is one of the fastest, if not the fastest guy, and he can see all nine guys on the floor and he can make quick decisions. He can go into the paint and there is no way he can make the pass out to a wide-open corner three but he does it time and time again. He just has that uncanny knack. There are only a few players in the league that can do that. We like that, and we never are going to take that away because his speed is powerful. It’s intimidating and it can really frustrate a team.”
Next Game: Washington will travel to Madison Square Garden for a re-match with the New York Knicks on Monday. It will be interesting to see if any sparks fly between Markieff Morris and ‘stupid ass rookie’ Mitchell Robinson after a fiery preseason opener last Monday.


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