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Why Bradley Beal refused to rest, even when the Wizards were out of contention

Why Bradley Beal refused to rest, even when the Wizards were out of contention

As the Wizards lost starting point guard John Wall to injury last season, Bradley Beal had to step up in more ways than one. 

The guard led Washington in points per game (25.6) and field goals (9.3), ranked second in assists per game (5.5) and third in free throw percentage (80.8%). 

Once the Wizards were out of playoff content, head coach Scott Brooks offered to let #3 rest for the last few weeks of the regular season like many other franchise stars have begun to do more frequently. Beal being Beal, however, would not take Brooks up on that.

On The Crossover Podcast with Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, Coach Brooks shared how this went down with the Wizards star, affectionately nicknamed Big Panda by his teammates and fans.

I mean, we were going nowhere at the end of the season pretty fast. And I’m like, ‘Brad, you know what, I appreciate everything you’ve given me the last couple of years. And this year we’re not making the playoffs, we’re out. You want to like chill out the last couple of weeks and rest? And he said, ‘You know what, I signed up to be the leader of this team and do it every night.’ And he wanted to do that, and he wanted to play every game and that’s why he played for two years in a row already too.

It should mean a lot to Wizards fans in today's era that Beal was committed to playing the season outright, even with a formal invitation from his head coach to rest for his own reward.

Beal has played the full 82 games in the last two regular seasons, and the Wizards offered Beal a three-year, $111 million max extension this summer, as expected. He has not signed it yet, likely waiting to see if he would make All-NBA to up the maximum amount Washington can offer to $250 million. 

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Kevin Durant's documentary on PG County basketball gets release date

Kevin Durant's documentary on PG County basketball gets release date

Kevin Durant and 35 Ventures announced Wednesday that his documentary, "Basketball County: In the Water," about the rich history of basketball stars from Prince George's County, MD will premiere on May 15 on Showtime.

The Sports Business Journal reported in mid-February that Durant was creating a documentary focusing on the prominence of basketball stars raised in PG County and was "putting the finishing touches" on the project. 

Durant and his manager, Rich Kleiman, serve as the executive producers of the highly-anticipated piece.

With the sports world at a standstill amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Durant's feature will give sports fans something to put on their calendar.

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Zion Williamson, Pelicans snap Wizards 2K sim winning streak

Zion Williamson, Pelicans snap Wizards 2K sim winning streak

Entering Wednesday night, the 2K Wizards were riding a four-game winning streak. They had beat the Celtics, Suns, Bucks and Lakers over the course of two weeks and looked like they might not lose again. 

But as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. At the hands of Zion Williamson and the Pelicans, the virtual Wizards lost 65-57. 

Here's how the game went down and slipped through the Wizards' fingers. 

Terrible shooting

Multiple brick houses were built during the making of this sim. 

The Wizards and Pelicans couldn't buy a jumper all game, especially from beyond the three-point line. The two squads combined to shoot 2-for-31 from three, a scorching 6.5%. 

To put this in a real-life context, this would have nearly broken an NBA record for combined three-point percentage with a minimum of 30 attempts. The current NBA record is reluctantly held by the Celtics and Nets on a night in 2003 where the two teams shot a combined 2-for-32 from three. 

Bradley Beal went 0-7 from three, Brandon Ingram missed all six of his attempts and JJ Redick didn't make a triple either. Just a weird night from three-point for two teams who were both top-five in three-point percentage before the 2019-20 season was suspended. 

Zion dunks his way to a win

The thing about having Williamson on your team is that, in games like this where nobody can hit a jumper, the Pelicans' best player didn't have to make much of an adjustment. 

Williamson does most of his damage in the paint, whether he's putting his armpits in the rim on a duck, bullying defenders down low and finishing layups through them or wreaking havoc on the offensive glass. 

So in a game where the only real source of offense came in the paint, Zion was right at home. He finished with 26 points, six rebounds and three blocks, shot 13-for-17 from the floor and tallied seven dunks in the game. 

The Wizards will get a chance at revenge before the season is out, but the No. 1 overall pick got the best of them this time. 

Parting thoughts

Beal got his shot blocked three times in this game alone, continuing an interesting trend we've seen through a few of these simulations. Beal had his shot blocked 52 times during the regular season, which puts him at 44th most in the league. The 2K sims have been fairly accurate to this point, but it appears Beal is getting his shot sent back a bit too much. 

Rui Hachimura had another good game in the 2K sim and continues to prove how valuable his skill and mobility at his size can be in such a setting. The rookie forward finished with 15 points in 22 minutes and went 6-for-9 from the floor. 

Davis Bertans didn't attempt a three in 13 minutes of playing time. During the regular season, Bertans averaged one three-point attempt every three minutes, so it was definitely bizarre to see him on the floor and not launch a single shot from deep. 

Beal may have had a rough game statistically, scoring 20 points on 9-of-25 shooting, but he at least produced a few highlight dunks including one on Williamson. 

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