LAS VEGAS - Even in a scenario where winning and losing is not the primary focus, the Wizards 102-82 defeat against Atlanta provided Sam Cassell plenty of worry. Well, as far as summer league action goes.The teams high scorer and prized rookie Bradley Beal was hardly primary among them.Bradley missed a couple of open shots today that Ive seen him make in the last two weeks... You know, Bradley Beal is my least concern, my least concern, said Cassell, the Wizards summer league head coach after the teams first of five games at the COX Pavilion on the UNLV campus.Beals on-court debut in a Wizards jersey included stretches of scoring professionalism and periods where nothing fell. What stood out to Sam Cassell most about the wing guards effort was not the team-high 22 points, but rather the blank canvas of emotions the maturity-rich 19-year-old offers opponents. Hes special, hes special, Cassell said. If you look at his game, its like no emotion. If you walk in the gym, you couldnt tell if he got one point or 30 points, and thats a trait that a lot of guys in this league dont have, and sometimes they never will get it.Beal finished 6 of 14 from the field and made 9 of 10 free throws in 34 minutes. Chris Singleton ramped up his production after a slow start to finish with 20 points. Jan Vesely had 11 points - and 10 fouls. TheWizards lost the rebounding edge, decisively in spots, andtrailed by eight points after the first quarter, 15 at halftime and 29 points in the second half.During the final two quarters, Beal missed six of eight shots after sinking four of six before halftime, flashing the nuanced subtlety of his offensive game throughout. He darted in and out of the Hawks defense to find space off the ball and often executed plays with precision though he acknowledged there were the occasional little brain freeze mistakes one would expect from a rookie.Regardless of the results, Beal stuck to lessons imparted on him by his original mentors.My parents always told me, 'Never let anybody see you sweat. Never let anybody know you're nervous or weak. They'll know you're having a bad game if you show it, Beal said. I just keep the same demeanor because it always keeps the defense off guard. You never know when you're going to get into a rhythm or whatever, so you always have to stay calm and let the game come to you.Noted for his perimeter game, Beal only took three shots from beyond the arc, making one. Though his dribble is not truly high-end NBA material quite yet, the 6-foot-4 Beal augmented his production by attacking the basket and generating free throw opportunities.Just go up there, try to make a layup and try to finish as strong as you can, Beal said. That's what I tried to do today, and I tried to draw fouls and get to the line.Defensively Beal displayed solid individual technique and team understanding, even if former Southeastern Conference foe John Jenkins had the better day from distance. The former Vanderbilt star and Atlantas first-round selection shot four of five from distance and scored 19 points, matching Benson for team-high honors.As for straddling that line between placid demeanor and assertive action, its is nothing new for the third overall pick in the NBA Draft out of Florida.I've played like that since Florida, ever since coach Donovan told me, 'Don't worry about scoring, Beal said. The coaches here are telling me the same thing. Before the game, Sam said, 'Be aggressive, but it doesn't always have to be about scoring. Just keep playing the game and let it come to you.' That's what I did.
Cassell praises Beals unemotional debut in Wizards loss
July 14, 2012, 12:40 am