Even before Nene's suspension was made official Saturday, Bradley Beal made this clear: The Wizards need to focus on the game and not get carried away with the physical play with the Chicago Bulls.
"We were trying to get the refs involved. We were looking for too many calls on the offensive end," said Beal, who had 25 points in a 100-97 loss in Game 3 and will be called on for more of the same for Game 4 at Verizon Center on Sunday. "Defense, there were times we were just trying to hit guys instead of just making the right play and playing solid defense.
"We've got to be a lot smarter on both ends of the floor, especially on defense just being solid, guarding our guys and helping out."
Beal had a dust up with Kirk Hinrich in Game 2. Trevor Ariza had one with Joakim Noah, too. They all received technicals but it wasn't much more than posturing and trash-talking.
These teams played three times in the regular season, two won by Washington. But in a seven-game series led 2-1 by the Wizards, it can test a player's patience. Nene was ejected Friday after making contact with Bulls guard Jimmy Butler. He grabbed him around the neck and lost a little more than $124,000 with his suspension handed down by the NBA. The episode was a culmination of things, not just that one play, but these teams really do not like each other. Beal smartly stopped short of starting another controversy.
"I’m not going to stir nothing up. It’s playoff basketball. You should never like your opponent no matter who you’re playing. It’s definitely going to get more feisty," Beal said of Game 4. "Hopefully it won’t escalate to higher things that we know it can escalate to. We got to focus on us, playing the right way and not get caught up just trying to fight them."