Wizards

Quick Links

Morning tip: Beal came up with Wizards' 'all-black' idea, and delivered

Morning tip: Beal came up with Wizards' 'all-black' idea, and delivered

The Wizards did something on Tuesday night that is rather remarkable for a regular season game. By announcing publicly they would wear all black before their matchup with the Celtics, then following through on that promise with a full and organized effort, they set an expectation for themselves that could have gone horribly wrong. After the message they sent, the potential for a massive embarrassment was there.

The all-black initiative made national news and if they had lost, there would have been many jokes at their expense. Yet, instead of succumbing to all of the pressure they laid forth by themselves, the Wizards answered the call. They walked the walk and came away with one of their more impressive wins of the season, a 123-108 beatdown of Boston.

Perhaps nobody had more on the line than Bradley Beal, who came up with the idea in the first place. When the Wizards needed him most, in the fourth quarter, he stepped up and rose to the challenge he and his teammate had set.

After the Celtics chopped the Wizards' lead to eight points in the fourth quarter, Beal scored 11 of their next 13 in just over three minutes. Included in that was an emphatic slam dunk on a fastbreak and a tough and-1 layup over Marcus Smart, the same player who broke Beal's nose almost a year prior to date.

Beal sized him up, conquered him, then directed a few words his way right after. It was a side rarely seen from the mostly stoic Beal.

"Everybody's different. I play with a lot of emotion," point guard John Wall said. "That's just how I play the game. Brad is more of a quiet guy who doesn't say too much. But he was into the game. You could tell it was a big game for him. He enjoyed it and played big for us in the fourth quarter."

[RELATED: 5 (10) must-see moments from Wizards' wild win over Celtics]

"We knew what this game was," Beal said. "We all had it circled last time we played them. Both teams. It was a competitive game, but I am glad we were able to dominate.”

Beal, who finished with a game-high 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting, said there is a simple reason why he locked in for the fourth quarter.

"I wanted to win. I wanted this win bad especially to keep our home streak going," he said after the Wizards' 14th straight victory at the Verizon Center.

Beal has spoken often this season about the Wizards' home crowd. He insists it is a big reason why they are among the best home teams in basketball. 

“It was awesome, man. It was awesome," he said. "They have been terrific all year and they continue to support us, each and every game. I do not know if they know, but we constantly feed off their energy. Them being loud and kind of buzzing them on offense and when we get the ball, you can barely hear yourself think, so it is great to be able to get it going and emotions are high, man."

The Wizards swept their back-to-back set with their win over Boston and a victory the night before against the Hornets. It was in Charlotte that Beal broke out of what was the worst shooting slump of his career. He missed 20 straight threes for the first time as an NBA player and before the Hornets game had shot 28.6 percent from the field in his previous three games.

Now that seems like a distant memory. Beal hit the 30-mark in points on Tuesday for the seventh time this year after only getting there once last season. He went 2-for-5 from three and also added five assists and two steals. 

The NBA's All-Star team reserves are announced on Thursday and Beal's head coach thinks he should be included.

"You know what? He’s a good player. The other 14 coaches are going to have to make a tough decision on who makes the All-Star team, but he’s as good as any guard in the East and, hopefully, they see that like I get to see it every day in practice and every night we play," Scott Brooks said.

[RELATED: Wizards walk the walk: Is it a rivalry now?]

Quick Links

Watch Rui Hachimura’s shutdown block

Watch Rui Hachimura’s shutdown block

Rui Hachimura continued his dominance in international friendlies Saturday as he put up 31 points and five rebounds in a winning effort over Germany.

After a highlight-reel performance in Thursday's loss to Argentina, Hachimura was back at it two days later.

That block at the 37-second mark is just filthy. It would also be goaltending in the NBA, but FIBA rules allow players to touch the ball at pretty much any time once it's made contact with some part of the hoop. Nevertheless, the athleticism to make this play is what stands out.

But Hachimura wasn't finished.

He looks more like Steph Curry leading that breakaway, dribbling behind his back and finishing at the rim himself than a 6-foot-8 forward.

With the international friendly schedule at its end, Japan will tip off the 2020 FIBA World Cup on Sunday, Sept. 1 against Turkey. After a matchup with the Czech Republic, Hachimura and Japan will take on his future NBA opponents when they face the United States on Sept. 5.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

Maryland native Quinn Cook tells the behind-the-scenes story of his road to the Lakers

Maryland native Quinn Cook tells the behind-the-scenes story of his road to the Lakers

Before he joined the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a blockbuster summer that saw them land Anthony Davis, before he won the NBA Finals as a role player with the Golden State Warriors, and before he averaged double-digit scoring and won the NCAA tournament at Duke, Quinn Cook was a star point guard at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md.

Cook was in town this week for his fourth annual youth basketball camp at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover. NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller sat down with the former Stag, who he’s known since the now-Lakers guard was 14 years old, on the Wizards Talk podcast.

Miller talked with Cook about why he feels connected to kids in the local community and what it was like losing his father as a teenager. One of his closest friends is fellow DeMatha product Victor Oladipo, who helped him get through the loss of his father Ted when he died suddenly in 2008 after going into a coma following a colon procedure.

“My best friend Norman and Victor, their parents took them out of school, and they were with me for two weeks,” Cook said. “At the funeral, [head coach Mike] Jones had the entire DeMatha basketball program…come to the funeral and all sit together [with] their uniforms on.”

Cook also went on to talk about his time at Duke, the viral video in which he convinced some people at the mall he was J Cole and his obsession with winning before going into how he landed in Los Angeles this offseason.

“When Golden State withdrew their qualifying offer, I became unrestricted and had some teams call me and the Lakers thing, it just happened quick,” Cook said. “I had talks with them, AD called me, [LeBron James] called Rob Palinka for me, and Coach K called them, talked to Bron and stuff and we got it done.”

Check out the full podcast below and listen to Miller talk hoops every week on the Wizards Talk podcast.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: