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Beal wise beyond years

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Beal wise beyond years

When Jason Kidd first entered the NBA as a rookie with the Dallas Mavericks in 1994, Bradley Beal was literally in diapers.
 
Thursday night at Verizon Center, the two guards were on the same court – one approaching the end of a brilliant 18-year NBA career, the other hoping to achieve the same greatness.
 
“It was weird, actually, knowing he’s a future Hall of Famer,” Beal, 19, said of his first NBA game against Kidd, 39.
 
“He’s probably one of the best point guards who ever played.  It’s a great feeling, but at the same time I’m playing against him so I just have to attack him and get the best of him.”
 
For the record, Beal and Kidd both came off the bench on Thursday. In 25:35, Beal recorded 15 points, five assists, one steal and one turnover. In 22:56, Kidd had four points, four assists, three steals and three turnovers.
 
One of those steals came against Beal.
 
“That’s a vet move,” Beal said of his one turnover. “I should have seen that coming. That’s how smart these guys are and how experienced they are. I just have to catch up to them and be two steps ahead of them.”
 
With 17,071 career points, Kidd has proven why the Mavericks took him with the second pick overall of the 1994 draft. Beal has the next 15 years to prove why the Wizards made him the third pick overall last June.
 
Wizards teammate Martell Webster says that after two preseason games Beal already is starting to show glimpses of greatness.
 
“He says he wants to compare himself to Ray Allen, but he’s a little more flash than Ray Allen,” Webster said. “I’d say he has a little of the flash, D Wade, in him.
 
“He can slash, put it on the floor, and make contact. That’s big. When you can establish yourself at the free throw line, seven, eight times a game, that’s a big difference.
 
“He’s got it. He’s still a rookie. He’s learning the basics. If he keeps watching the players that he admires, takes little bits and adds them to himself, he’ll be a star in this league.”
 
Wizards point guard Jannero Pargo says what impresses him most about Beal is his ability to play a calm game when the pace is furious.
 
“I'm very impressed,” Pargo said. “I think he's poised beyond his years. He's aggressive, but he’s not moving too fast.. He plays the game at his own pace. He's not rattled by anything. He takes the game as it comes to him and that's very refreshing for a rookie.”

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Sixers

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Sixers

Here are the five best moments from the Washington Wizards' 120-115 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night at Capital One Arena...

1. John Wall posted up T.J. McConnell and finished with a thunderous left-handed slam in what was clearly the play of the game.

This may go down as one of the best dunks of the entire Wizards season:

2. Wall had some great dunks, but he played a solid game overall with 28 points and eight assists. Check out this block on Markelle Fultz, a fellow No. 1 overall pick who was making his NBA debut:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a strong game with 14 points and seven rebounds. He did a great job pitching in when Jason Smith left with an injury. His best play was this ridiculous putback dunk. Everything in the universe aligned perfectly for him to put one back and rock Capital One Arena in the process:

Oubre's postgame quote on the dunk was sensational:

"Man, I don't know. I just jumped in the air and the ball was in the rim. I blacked out, honestly, in that moment. I'm just happy it happened. It was all God. God took over my soul at that point."

4. Marcin Gortat had a monster night with 16 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks. Ten of his points came in the fourth quarter alone, including this powerful dunk assisted by Wall. Gortat broke out his signature celebration afterwards:

5. Wall could not be stopped in the second half. This was his second-best dunk of the night, but still a great highlight:

Afterwards, when Wall was asked about his collection of dunks, he replied: "it's Wolf Season, just keep watching."

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Marcin Gortat dedicates big game against Sixers to late former Polish teammate Adam Wójcik

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Marcin Gortat dedicates big game against Sixers to late former Polish teammate Adam Wójcik

Marcin Gortat is a legend in his home country of Poland and on Wednesday night he paid homage to one of his predecessors.

Adam Wójcik, one of the most decorated Polish basketball players of all time, passed away in August after a battle with Leukemia. Months later, in the first game of the 2017-18 season, Gortat took the floor with Wójcik's initials, the date of his death, a cross and 'RIP' inscribed on his shoes.

Gortat went out and delivered one of the best games of his career. He had 16 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks, just the third time in his 11 NBA seasons he has posted those numbers. His production was pivotal in the Wizards' 120-115 win over the Sixers in their season opener.

"I'm just glad I did that wearing the initials of the greatest players from Poland, Adam Wójcik," Gortat said. "I'm glad in the first game, we came up with a win."

[RELATED: WALL, BEAL RECALL THEIR NBA DEBUTS]

Ten of Gortat's points came in the fourth quarter, as he consistently fed off pick-and-roll mismatches. John Wall found him over and over, including for a big dunk that allowed Gortat to do his signature Polish Hammer celebration.

That Wall-to-Gortat combination is something head coach Scott Brooks wants to see more of.

"It’s simple for him. I’ve been telling him for about a year and at the start of this season," Brooks said. "You run into your screen and you roll out, and you’re going to get open looks. We have some special players handling the ball. They’re going to have to guard with an extra man and if he rolls hard, he’s going be able to finish."

Wójcik died at just 47 years old after a long and successful basketball career. He won eight Polish League championships and won MVP three times. Gortat and Wójcik played together for the Polish national team and Wójcik is someone Gortat looked up to for a long time.

"I dedicate this game to him," he said.

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