John Wall didn't have to be great on Monday. It was Bradley Beal's turn anyway. Coming off one of his worst games of the season when he missed 12 of 14 shots in a loss to the Detroit Pistons, Beal played perhaps his most complete game vs. the Philadelphia 76ers with a team-high 22 points, a season-high nine rebounds, tied a career high with eight assists and one block in just 30 minutes.
“It was fun. I like playing like that. Hopefully I can be the point guard and John can be the two," said Beal, who still is playing under a time restriction since returning from a stress fracture in his lower right leg in December. "It was just me finding my teammates and the bigs doing a great job of laying the ball in and finishing and the guards knocking down shots. I was just playing within the flow of the game and I was able to fortunately have the assists.”
Beal has had stretches where if he wasn't scoring he was having minimal impact. He went six consecutive games during one stretch with no made free throws and just one attempt, an indication that he settled too often for jump shots.
“It just gets me going, just the fact that I’m contributing in more than one area," Beal said of Monday's game. "Just knowing that I can be a decoy in one moment and score in the next moment. It is just being versatile I guess and just not being one-dimensional.”
Marcin Gortat was among those who benefitted. Beal didn't score in the first quarter but had three assists -- to Trevor Ariza for a three-pointer, Wall for a mid-range jump shot and Gortat for a dunk. In the fourth quarter, Jan Vesely had a dunk and a layup off lobs from Beal.
"He can do a lot of different things. I'm actually glad he wasn't focused on scoring," Gortat said. "He brings so much on the court, defensively, he can create so many open shots."