Wizards

Quick Links

Bradley Beal's brilliance is worth appreciating, no matter the games ending in losses

Bradley Beal's brilliance is worth appreciating, no matter the games ending in losses

WASHINGTON -- You don't often see emotions mixed in basketball to the degree they were for Bradley Beal on Monday night. After his team fell just short against the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime, he described the game as simultaneously "terrible" and "the most fun [he's] ever played in."

That is a bizarre range of extremes. But it also makes perfect sense if you either watched the game or took a glance at where Beal's recent surge has placed in NBA history.

Take for instance the fact Beal scored 55 points, a career-high, one night after setting a career-high with 53 points against the Bulls. He became the first player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1962, 58 years ago, to have 53 points or more in consecutive games and lose both of them.

Two losses in two games, but 108 points scored. That will certainly leave you conflicted.

Also look at the way the game transpired. Beal scored 22 of the Wizards' final 24 points in regulation to force overtime. It was a miracle effort against a Bucks team currently on pace for the third-most regular season wins in NBA history. The 20-35 Wizards even forcing an extra period against this team and after trailing by 20 points was impressive in its own right.

Still, they lost. And that left Beal talking out both sides of his mouth.

"I'm a winner, so you can throw those 55 out with the last 53," Beal said seconds before adding: "We showed some resilience. In our head, we're viewing this as a first round match-up if we get [to the playoffs]. This is kind of our message to them."

Really though, no matter the result, this was arguably the best game of Beal's career and not just because of the point total. You could build a case for other games of his, ones where he had triple-doubles or that actually resulted in Wizards wins. But scoring 22 of his team's 24 points in a span of about seven minutes to will them to overtime was a next-level takeover. 

And Beal happened to have this night with the reigning MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and fellow All-Star Khris Middleton on the court. Beal, of course, was not a 2020 All-Star and this was yet another moment that made people say he should have been one.

"He’s an All-Star," guard Shabazz Napier said. "We expect that."

Beal was not an All-Star, though. And the more he plays like this, the more he does indeed make it seem ludicrous he wasn't one. After these last two games, for example, he is now averaging 30.1 points per game, the most in the Eastern Conference. Only James Harden (35.3) is averaging more this season.

Speaking of Harden and Chamberlain, Beal joined them as one of only three players in NBA history to score 53 points or more in consecutive games. He is the first to drop 50 on back-to-back nights since Kobe Bryant in 2007. Those are some of the very best scorers of all-time.

So, maybe Beal's name wasn't included with Middleton and Kyle Lowry and Ben Simmons, and the other Eastern Conference All-Star reserves. For now, he will just have to settle with Chamberlain, Bryant and Harden instead.

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

NBA reportedly close to televising a HORSE competition while players are in isolation

NBA reportedly close to televising a HORSE competition while players are in isolation

While we wait for the 2019-20 NBA season to return from suspension, the league may have found another way to entertain us. 

Last week, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the NBA was working on televising a H-O-R-S-E competition featuring several high-profile players. 

In this case, players would shoot by themselves, presumably at their homes, and go shot-for-shot with other players remotely. The great thing about H-O-R-S-E is all you need to be able to do is shoot, leaving the door open for former players like Paul Pierce to get in on the fun. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, the NBA and ESPN's deal to televise H-O-R-S-E is nearing completion with a number of NBA stars on board to compete, per Wojnarowski. Chris Paul, Trae Young and Zach LaVine are expected to participate while the competition will also include WNBA players and a few recent NBA alumni. 

This wouldn't be the first time we've seen NBA players playing H-O-R-S-E on television. Back in 2010, Kevin Durant, Rajon Rondo and Omri Casspi played each other in H-O-R-S-E as a part of All-Star weekend. As you'd expect, Durant won. 

This follows the NBA kickstarting the first-ever NBA 2K Players Tournament Friday, where 16 NBA stars play each other in an NBA 2K20 tournament for charity. Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell, Trae Young and Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura headline the event that is expected to run until April 11. 

According to Woj, the details on the H-O-R-S-E competition are still being finalized with the league and ESPN, who'd ultimately air the event. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

Jerry Stackhouse says he regrets time with Wizards, playing with Michael Jordan

Jerry Stackhouse says he regrets time with Wizards, playing with Michael Jordan

From an outside perspective, it seems like Jerry Stackhouse would have cherished his time with the Washington Wizards, as he was given the opportunity to share the floor with Michael Jordan, an admitted idol whom he was at times compared to as a 6-foot-6 star guard from the University of North Carolina.

But Stackhouse, now the head coach at Vanderbilt, views that time with deep regret. He looked back on those days on the latest episode of the 'Woj Pod' hosted by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and explained why he still isn't over the frustration he felt at the time.

"Honestly, I wish I never played in Washington and for a number of reasons," Stackhouse said. "I felt we were on our way in Detroit before I got traded there. It was really challenging to be able to be in a situation with an idol who at this particular point, I felt like I was a better player.

"Things were still being run through Michael Jordan," he continued. "[Head coach] Doug Collins, I love Doug, but I think that was an opportunity for him to make up for some ill moments that they may have had back in Chicago. So, pretty much everything that Michael wanted to do [we did]. We got off to a pretty good start and he didn't like the way the offense was running because it was running a little bit more through me. He wanted to get a little more isolations for him on the post, of course, so we had more isolations for him on the post. And it just kind of spiraled in a way that I didn't enjoy that season at all. The kind of picture I had in my mind of Michael Jordan and the reverence I had for him, I lost a little bit of it during the course of that year."

What made matters worse for Stackhouse is that his previous team, the Detroit Pistons, won a title in 2004, just two years after he left in a trade. The Wizards sent promising young guard Richard Hamilton to Detroit for Stackhouse in a six-player deal. Hamilton was the leading scorer on that Finals-winning team while playing the same position Stackhouse did.

"[Jordan] had a young guard there in Rip Hamilton, who I was traded for to Detroit, that he didn't feel like he could get it done with. So he was like, 'Let's go get Stackhouse, I know he's tougher and he can score, let's go bring him in here,'" Stackhouse said.

"Watching a team I helped kind of build a foundation for in Detroit go on to win a championship a couple years later, it left a bad taste in my mouth, so I was pretty happy to get out of Washington and get on to Dallas."

Stackhouse was traded by the Wizards in 2004 to the Mavericks in the deal that brought Antawn Jamison to D.C. Stackhouse would play five years in Dallas, only to see them win a title two years after he left. Two years later, he played for the Miami Heat, who would win a championship the year after he left there.

That's some bad timing on multiple accounts. Stackhouse feels like he missed out on a ring, but you could argue he missed out on several.

You can listen to the full interview with Stackhouse right here.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: