Wizards

Quick Links

Morning tip: Bradley Beal doing more than just shooting threes

Morning tip: Bradley Beal doing more than just shooting threes

The differences in Bradley Beal's game may not be obvious to someone who doesn't see all of his games, or who only sees the raw numbers that show his shooting from three-point range and overall are down. He may have yet to prove he's a $128 million max player, but Beal is not the same stationary catch-and-shoot three-point shooter for the Wizards.

Before his last two games, 34 vs. the Miami Heat and a career-high 42 vs. the Phoenix Suns, Beal has had a committment to attack with hesitation dribbles, get into the lane and finish in traffic. It's not long ball or nothing anymore.

"Ball-handling, for sure," Beal said of where he believes he has improved most after he shooting 14-for-22 from the field Monday night. "Being comfortable with creating my own shot and creating for my teammates. Being able to utilize the pick-and-roll to my advantage, and being able to run off screens the right way. I've had a lot of good vets that I have been fortunate to play alongside the last couple of years... taking stuff from them and implementing them in my game has helped me out a lot."

Beal was 9-for-11 on free throws Monday. Earlier this season, a total of 10 games played, he set a career-hgh with 14 attempts for the first win vs. the Atlanta Hawks. 

By comparison, in the entire 2015-16 season for Beal, when he played a career-low 55 games because of various injuries, he never broke double digits in free throw attempts in any game. In 24 of those games, he attempted two or fewer free throws. 

[RELATED: Right hip issue arises once again for Porter in game vs. Suns]

He has had some similar stretches already this season, a product of being stationary on the weakside of the ball and not being involving himself in the offense, but has to force the issue more. 

Devin Booker, a second-year player for the Suns who had 30 points Monday, frequently screens voluntarily -- not by design or call from anyone -- to keep himself active. Sometimes a defender gets preoccoupied watching the ball on the strong side of the floor and Booker ends up with a clean look from three on the pop to the arc. 

"We have so many threats on the floor, teams have to help," said Beal, who missed three games with a right hamstring injury and just returned. "I'm fine with being a decoy. If they're going to continue to ball watch, I'm going to continue to move without the ball."

Though it would be ideal for Beal to fill up the stat sheet by averaging more than 2.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists at this point, his No. 1 responsibility as a shooting guard is to score. He has never averaged more than 20 points per game for a season, but this could be the year he gets over that hump.

[RELATED: Elite backcourt of Wall and Beal emerges for Wizards]

Quick Links

Jordan McRae exits Wizards vs. Raptors with sprained left ankle

Jordan McRae exits Wizards vs. Raptors with sprained left ankle

Just when the Wizards were getting healthy again, they may have suffered a tough blow to their second unit against the Raptors Friday night.

At the start of the second quarter in Toronto, McRae suffered a left ankle injury after accidentally stepping on Terence Davis' foot. The team ruled it as an ankle sprain and McRae did not return to the game. 

He was writhing in pain on the floor as teammates surrounded him and helped him off the floor. As he exited the game to the locker room, McRae was not able to put any weight on his left leg. 

McRae had stepped up as one of Washington's primary scorers off the bench and a very good back-up to Bradley Beal at the off-guard spot. Over the last 10 games, McRae was averaging 19.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists on 45 percent shooting from beyond the arc. 

We don't know yet whether McRae will miss any time beyond Friday, but if he does the Wizards will have to rely more on Davis Bertans and Ish Smith for offense in the second unit. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

Scott Brooks isn't sure if Rui Hachimura will return before February

Scott Brooks isn't sure if Rui Hachimura will return before February

Rui Hachimura is set to miss his 16th straight game with a groin injury, and his return to the court doesn't seem close. 

Before the Wizards took on the Raptors Friday night, head coach Scott Brooks said he wasn't sure if Hachimura would return before the start of February. 

Previously, Hachimura was set scheduled to be reevaluated in mid-January, so it appears after that checkpoint, the Wizards aren't ready to bring back their promising young forward. 

Hachimura originally sustained the injury by accidentally getting kicked in the groin by teammate Isaac Bonga on December 16. Before going down, Hachimura was flashing plenty of promise as a versatile offensive weapon at the power forward spot. 

As one of the top rookies in the game before the injury, Hachimura seemed like a lock to play in the NBA's Rookie-Sophomore game at All-Star weekend. That's about a month away, so this new timeline would put Hachimura's availability for that game in doubt. 

Davis Bertans, Isaac Bonga and Ian Mahinmi have helped fill in for the rookie, but in a season where development was arguably more important than winning, the Wizards and Hachimura caught a really tough break with this injury. 

In the meantime, Washington will have their hands full with Pascal Siakam and the defending champion Raptors on the road. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: