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Beal set for assertive home debut against Celtics

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Beal set for assertive home debut against Celtics

If Bradley Beal can transfer lessons learned from his first NBA game onto the court for his first home game, expect a more assertive effort from the Florida rookie against the veteran Boston Celtics come Saturday night. After draining two early 3-pointers, Beal went scoreless during a misfiring second half against the Cavaliers in a matchup against fellow rookie Dion Waiters.

"I have to be more aggressive throughout the whole game," Beal said following Friday's practice. "I was mad at myself after the game because I know I didn't give it my all in the second half. I mean I came out pretty good in the first half and I just kind of disappeared. Throughout the whole game the coach was on my butt, he took me out for it, too. I just have to stay aggressive and stay within the flow of the game."

That could be easier said then done seeing as Beal now goes from primarily facing another newbie to three Celtic guards with their own unique styles. Rajon Rondo is the long-limbed All-Star point guard with a quirky yet highly effective style, Jason Terry is the savvy veteran who scores in bunches while Courtney Lee offers length and defensive intangibles.

Beal showed he's been doing homework on their various tendencies when asked about how the upcoming challenge.

"Terry can shoot the ball, all these guys have the green light to shoot and do basically whatever they want to do," Beal noted. "Rondo's real crafty with the ball and Courtney Lee can shoot the ball and slash to the basket as well so it's a lot of different tendencies that these players are capable of. I just have to be ready to play. At the end of the day its just playing basketball. It's not about black and white like coach Witt always says its always a gray. It's always in between. As long as you just playing ball and doing what he wants, you can't go wrong."

This is how it's going to be for rookie especially the first time around the league; study long, play hard, build on each performance.

"He’s just got to continue to learn," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "It’s a mental notebook each and every game here, when you’re a rookie. I told him early on. Keep a notebook. This is what I have to do against Dwyane Wade. This is what I have to do against Ray Allen. This is what I have to do against Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. And learn those things. That’s just part of it, tomorrow to. Tomorrow and we play them again. Each and every night it’s going to be a thing, so now, when you get that second, third time around, you know what you have to do better than you did the first time around."

As if facing Rondo and the Celtics wasn't enough, there is the simple fact that the Wizards first round pick - and also the most marketable player currently active on the roster - is readying for his home debut.

Beal: "I'm real excited. My family is going to be there on top of that and actually this is my town now, this is my city so I going to have to represent and just show what I'm capable of doing, as well as my teammates. We're going to have a big year, we're going to have a great team this year and hopefully the fans will be able to support us throughout the whole year. Just my immediate family, all my brothers."

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Bradley Beal to Charlotte? Hornets reportedly interested in Wizards SG

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Bradley Beal to Charlotte? Hornets reportedly interested in Wizards SG

The Wizards' struggles have been on full display to the public this week, and the rumor mill continues to churn out news and gossip at a hectic pace. 

Days after ESPN reported that every Wizards player is available for trade discussions following a dismal 5-11 start, the Charlotte Observer reported Tuesday that the Hornets had expressed interest in Bradley Beal.

From the Observer's Rick Bonnell:

The Charlotte Hornets have inquired with the Washington Wizards about the possibility of acquiring shooting guard Bradley Beal, an informed source confirmed Tuesday. The source didn’t identify what the Hornets have offered for Beal, a 6-foot-5 guard averaging 21.5 points this season, or whether any progress has been made toward a deal.

A day prior, Beal was asked about the swirling rumors

"Ernie has a job. Ted has a job," he said. "The organization has a job and they're gonna do whatever it takes to make sure that the organization is going in a direction they need to. All we can do is continue to work hard every day, continue to - you know - put in work until something changes." 

The 25-year-old, who made the Eastern Conference All-Star squad in 2017, is averaging 21.6 points, 4.6 boards and 3.5 assists through 16 games this season. 

Washington (5-11) plays host to the Los Angeles Clippers (11-5) Tuesday night at Capital One Arena. It will air at 7 PM on NBC Sports Washington. 

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Wizards coach Scott Brooks on reports that practices got heated: 'I said some things I regret'

Wizards coach Scott Brooks on reports that practices got heated: 'I said some things I regret'

WASHINGTON -- There are NBA head coaches that meet with media members on game days before or after morning shootaround. Scott Brooks generally isn’t one of them.

He did Tuesday ahead of the Wizards’ home matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers after Washington’s internal squabbles leaked publicly Monday. The Wizards are under the spotlight.

“Obviously, everybody is well aware of some of the reports,” Brooks said. 

There was trade buzz Monday morning followed by details on Thursday’s heated practice including the organization fining John Wall for cussing out Brooks.

 “Last week definitely was a spirited practice and very intense practice,” Brooks said during a lengthy opening statement. “And looking back at it, like we talked about as it happened, I said some things that I regret. Our players said some things that they regret. And right after the practice, I had a conversation to hash things out, and everything was good. And then some of our players had some conversations, and they hashed things out, and everything was good.”

Until, for the Wizards, it wasn’t.

 The team lost back-to-back home games, trailing by hefty margins in both. The barrage of reports came the morning after Sunday’s 119-109 loss to Portland.

 “Unfortunately, things get out there,” Brooks said of the reports, which included multiple verbal altercations among teammates. “You always talk about keeping everything in but like I said, I’ve been in this league for a long time and when you have the start that you have, I should get criticized and I understand that. I have thick skin and I can handle that.”

“What happened in practice happened in practice,” Bradley Beal said. “Practice is closed. Practice is not a public thing. It got heated. You guys know that. Practice, I mean it's happened in this organization and every organization around the league. High school, college, it happens.”
Wall joined Brooks and Beal with largely explaining away the incident as something of a normal occurrence over an NBA season. Unfortunately, for the Wizards, the defensive struggles in their latest losses are also par for the course this season. The point guard didn’t blame the losses on the practice blowout.

“It wasn’t nothing to do with that, because we had a great practice after that,” Wall said. “We had great shootaround and we just didn’t come out and play well. We didn’t make shots, we didn’t move the ball, we didn’t defend. You can try to translate it to that, but we already know when we don’t play defense and don’t make threes, we’re a terrible team, and we showed that the last two games.”

As for the fine, Wall said simply, “I wasn’t worried about it. I knew it was coming.”

Who knows what’s coming from this team Tuesday and beyond. The Wizards believe they can turn around the season, or at least aren’t publically showing a level of desperation that suggests otherwise. If trades aren’t coming, the fix must come from within.

“You see that we’re not winning. Everyone is frustrated. At the end of the day, we have to be able to communicate with each other so we can learn from it and try to build on things together,” Porter said. “That’s the only way we can start winning games, to rally with each other instead of against each other.”

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