Bradley Beal: “Never change your mindset or your approach to the game,” Coach Brooks said. “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.” He made a bet with me at the start of the year that I won’t shoot 20 threes in a game. Like, he actually wants me to shoot 20 or more threes, and if I do, he wins. So that’s just one example of what I mean when I say he believes in us as players.
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“We’ve got to find a way to be able to get stops and to be able to score the ball. We’ve got to do one or the other,” Beal said after the Wizards dropped to 1-4. “The biggest thing we can control is our defense and that’s all about effort and wanting to play. I think coach is pretty fed up with the way we’re playing and I think he’s going to start playing guys who want to play and guys who want to show up.”
“We’ll figure it out one way or another. Coach has talked about it a little bit but he doesn’t want to exert me too much or exert any of the other guys too much,” Beal said, “but we may have to.” “We just got to work with what we got,” Beal continued. “Guys just have to start stepping up and playing. If they want to play, coach is going to play you and if you don’t, he’s going to sit you down so it’s just a matter of us just being disciplined in the second group and everybody being on the same page. I don’t think we’re always on the same page all the time … but at the end of the day I am prepared if (Brooks) does go that route.”
Candace Buckner: Scott Brooks on Bradley Beal: “He’s going to have a breakout game sooner or later, hopefully it’s tonight… I have to do a better job of putting him in positions where he’s moving and being able to catch the ball on the fly.”
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October 16, 2017 | 6:02 pm EDT Update
Did not getting Anthony hurt Houston or nah? The Rockets — okay, Chris Paul — wanted this done bad. It won’t hurt Houston in the regular season, when Paul and James Harden will dominate. And while Harden didn’t like Kevin McHale’s critique of his leadership, Mac was spot on. That doesn’t make “The Beard” a bad guy or teammate — people gravitate to their comfortable roles in life, and CP3 is a natural-born leader. Harden will, one thinks, be more comfortable with slightly less light on him. They’ll do fine playing together and off one another.
Who’s going to regret their offseason? The Bucks were fine off the court — their new arena is already more than halfway constructed and looks like it’s going to be a gem — although the surrounding mall that is supposed to be part of the complex is not going up as quickly. But the Bucks didn’t address their bigs-heavy roster and move some of the surplus — how can coach Jason Kidd keep all of Greg Monroe, Jabari Parker and John Henson happy with Thon Maker scarfing up more and more frontcourt minutes? — for the shooting Milwaukee still needs. The East is so open, and Milwaukee is so close to breaking through into elite status with Giannis Antetokounmpo an elite performer.
What does Dwyane Wade really have left? Now that the inevitable buyout of Wade’s $24 million deal by the Bulls has led to the equally inevitable trek to Cleveland to play with James, can the 35-year-old Wade still be a significant contributor on a title contender? Given the general dysfunction in Chicago last season, you can dismiss most of the good and bad numbers Wade put up, with two exceptions: he still averaged almost five free throw attempts per game, and he shot 31 percent on 3-pointers — not great, but more than double his anemic 15.9 percent behind the arc in 2015-16, his last with the Miami Heat. Wade obviously knows the cheat code for how to most effectively play off of James, so he’ll use the regular season to learn his teammates and be ready for the playoffs. But can Wade hold up over seven games defensively if he has to chase, say, Bradley Beal around, or try to deny DeRozan his preferred mid-range spots, and still be productive offensively?