Extra attention throws off Beal in opener

Extra attention throws off Beal in opener
November 1, 2013, 11:30 am
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Detroit Pistons shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope guards Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal during the second quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

(Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)

After a preseason that inspired chatter about Bradley Beal being a possible All-Star, the second-year shooting guard for the Wizards got the attention of one.

Beal couldn't get many clean looks in a 113-102 loss in the season-opener at the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.

He shot 6-for-18 to finish with 17 points. He missed 4 of 6 three-point attempts. The Pistons took away his corner threes.

"I really didn't get too many of the ones that I actually wanted because their defensive schemes were pretty good," Beal said of his perimeter looks. "The ones that I did take, there's no excuse for me not to make them.

"I've never seen it before. Now I'm glad it's the first game of the year so now I can be prepared for it for the rest of the way. They definitely blitzed me. Couldn't get the shots I really wanted off the dribble."

Combined with John Wall's 8-for-21 shooting, it was a miserable night for the Wizards' starting backcourt. 

"They were trying to be physical with Brad, which a lot of teams are. That's the next step in his progression. He got 18 shots. Got some good looks," coach Randy Wittman said. "I'm sure he wasn't happy with the way he shot it but if we can get him quality 18 shots every night I'm going to trust he's going to bang down a lot of those. He understood that, too. Teams are going to come after him."

Taking what the defense will allow is part of the equation, too.

"Just make the smart plays. Just notice that I don't have to shoot the ball every single time I touch it," Beal said. "Make sure I'm making smart plays and get my teammates involved when they're open. If they doubling me somebody has to be open. There's five of us. I got to make a smart play and not get out of my zone when they do that."