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NBA Draft profile: Bradley Beal


NBA Draft profile: Bradley Beal

Later this month the Washington Wizards will take part in the 2012 NBA draft. Currently the owner of picks 3, 32 and 46, the franchise could go in almost any direction with those selections. The prevailing belief is upgrading the team's perimeter weapons and small forwardwing guard depth is a must this offseason, but few would knock more interior help even with the intriguing core of Nene and kids.

Between now and the draft, were going to identify some of the players the Wizards might target in both the first and second round. Up next, Bradley Beal.

Check below for a running of list of all our draft profiles. More to come before the June 28 draft in Newark.Bradley Beal
FloridaDraft Express overall ranking: No. 5HeightWeight: 6-4, 202 lb (combine numbers)Key stats: 14.8 points,6.7 rebounds in 2011-12. The player: The prototypical shooting guard, Beal boasts textbook form on his shot, drains looks from distance and his impressive wingspan helps him get off shots in traffic and snatch rebounds. Though only 18 his birthday is on draft day the poised Beal is mature on the court and with the media. Considered the premier shooter at his position coming out of high school,his 3-point accuracy (33.9) wavered during his transitional freshman season, but not so in the truly pressure-packed games. Starting with Kentucky in the SEC Tournament and including four NCAA Tournament games, Beal sank 12 of 26 attempts (46.1 percent) from beyond the arc and 58.5 percent from all angles.
The fit: Only the Kings and Bobcats shot worse from beyond the arc than the Wizards (32 percent) last season. Once Nick Young was traded, the Wizards lacked a knocked down perimeter gunner among their top options. Jordan Crawford and John Wall can score in bunches, but primarily off the bounce and by getting to the rim. When defenses sag off to stop penetration or double team Nene in the post, Beal will make them pay. Equally as important, at Florida he showed being unselfish is part of his basketball DNA, deferring to upperclassmen when appropriate. Fellow prospects Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Andre Drummond all could arguably help the Wizards, but only Beal addresses their primary weakness.The issue: For starters, there is that youth thing, though thats hardly a distinctive flaw in this draft. Beals handle is solid, but still needs work on creating his own shot as the bulk of his opportunities and scoring came off passes or set plays. According to Draft Express, less than 8 percent of his plays were isolation situations. Based on his form and high school career, its assumed that his many misses from deep at last season were more aberration than foreshadowing. Seems fair, but you also are graded on what you do..The analysis (all told exclusively to CSNwashington)NBA scout: "Do you go for need like a Bradley Beal? I think a two guard is more of a need for those guys than any other position. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a three-man.There are going to have to take aserious look at Beal.That team needs shooters. If it were me, I would look to upgrade the two-guard."Andy Glockner, SI.com: "Of those four (likely targeted) players, I happen to like Brad Beal a lot. I think hes going to be a terrific NBA player. Hes one of the rare players that didnt show as well in college and I think will be a better pro than what he showed at Florida. He played with two kind of ball hogging guards next to him. I think its kind of hard to be a freshman and get into rhythm with two upper class guards dominating the ball so muchShot 34 percent from 3 this year. Just watching his stroke and talking to guys that have seen him prior to when he got to Florida, he seems like a much better shooter than that. I think that is where the upside will be."Ed Isaacson, NBA Draft Blog: "I would never use the word explosive with him, but I dont know how many people have been able to stop him from getting into the lane over the course of a game. With his quick first step, hes going to a find a way to get in there.
Playing with John Wall, have him run plays that are going to draw Beals defender over to help. Wide open, hes going to knock those down. If hes being guarded by someone who has three or four inches on him, he knows how to use his dribble and ball fakes, all the little tricks great shooting guards have."The summation: Beals one season at Florida lagged behind that of his fellow freshman Kidd-Gilchrist, let alone the All-American Robinson. If given the choice between big and small, teams usually go for size, which is why some suggest the choice should be the powerful Drummond. Smart teams assemble a roster based talentand whether theplayers fit the coach's scheme, but in the case of the Wizards, who knows how long Randy Wittman (or for that matter Ernie Grunfeld) will be around. Thats not a knock, just a reality should another losing season occur. In terms of what the current roster lacks, in terms of floor spacing and in terms of a running mate for Wall, not sure it can be argued there is a better match for the Wizards than Beal.More draft profilesMichael Kidd-GilchristFestus EzeliJeremy LambAndre DrummondThomas RobinsonHarrison BarnesBen Standig blogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at bstandig@comcast.net, follow him on Twitter @BenStandig and catch his musings at the D.C. Sportalist.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: How they can keep it rolling in Game 5


Wizards Tipoff podcast: How they can keep it rolling in Game 5

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes, Travis Thomas and Julie Donaldson reset the series and looked ahead to Game 5.

They were joined by TSN Sports anchor Kayla Grey to find out the Toronto perspective. The Wizards have all the momentum in this series, now they just have to keep it going.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Even after injury-riddled year, Wizards are seeing peak John Wall in playoffs

Even after injury-riddled year, Wizards are seeing peak John Wall in playoffs

You would not have known it by John Wall's towering poster-dunks over Jonas Valanciunas and Jakob Poeltl in Game 4, or his fourth quarter takeover after Bradley Beal fouled out, but Wall is still technically working his way into midseason form from the left knee surgery that kept him out more than two months down the stretch of the regular season. Add into the equation that he sprained his right ankle in Game 3, then resprained it in Game 4 right after Beal went out, and it's quite clear that what he is doing is simply not normal. 

Throughout Wall's recovery, his head coach Scott Brooks remarked how Wall can regain his form unusually quick following an injury absence. Game 4 was just his eighth game back, yet through four playoff games he is averaging an absurd 26.8 points, 13.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 1.0 blocks.

If that's what he's doing eight games removed from recovery, and against the top team in the Eastern Conference, what does peak playoff form look like? 

"I told y'all, I told all the media that I only need like three or four games. I really didn't need too many games," he said. "All the hard work that I did in those two months was to prepare myself to be ready for the playoffs."

Wall said he started feeling like himself in his final regular season game, his fourth outing following the injury rehab. It was against the Celtics and he scored 29 points to go along with 12 assists, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

"I just started to see shots fall down that I was falling short with a couple games before that," Wall said of that night.

Brooks saw a change in Wall against the Cavaliers on April 5, in just his third game back. That game Wall put up 28 points, 14 assists, four rebounds and three steals. Most importantly, he logged 38 minutes.

"I knew I was going to challenge his body with extra minutes," Brooks said. "The way he responded to that, I knew he was back."

Whenever the turning point happened, there is no looking back. Wall has found his groove to not only impact, but at times dominate playoff games against one of the best defensive teams in basketball.

In Game 4 once Beal went down, Wall looked like the best player on the court. He scored eight of the Wizards' final 14 points to seal the victory and did so on a bum ankle. He outshined both DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, two All-Star guards.

Wall even played sound defense on DeRozan in big moments. DeRozan shot 10-for-29 in the game.

"I think I did a good job of contesting him," Wall said. "Just do whatever it takes to help this team win."

What Brooks predicted would happen has indeed played out. He has been with Wall for about two years now and knows what the star point guard is made of.

"I've been with him two years, he loves to play," Brooks said, noting there have been some tough conversations to convince him to come out of games.

Consider this: Wall has scored 20 points or more in six straight games, his longest streak of the 2017-18 season. He has actually reached 23 points or more in those six games, which is tied for the longest such streak of his entire career.

Through eight games overall and four games in the playoffs, Wall has reminded everyone of what the Wizards missed. Yes, they went 10-3 when he first went down with the injury in late January, but that was not sustainable.

They need Wall to reach their full potential as a team and especially in the postseason. Late-game situations like in Game 4, when Beal exited and it was tied with 4:58 to play, are when the superstars separate themselves.

Wall did that and now the Wizards are in good shape with the series at 2-2 and having won two straight.

"Blame everything on him," Brooks joked of the Wizards' up-and-down regular season. "If he wasn't hurt, we'd be better, right?"

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