Pregame warmup: Physical tactics can't rattle Beal

Pregame warmup: Physical tactics can't rattle Beal
November 20, 2013, 4:30 pm
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Bradley Beal pleased Wizards sealed win with defense

Bradley Beal not only sees the difference in how teams are defending him -- he first called attention to it in the preseason and then in a season-opening loss at the Detroit Pistons -- but he's feeling it, too. He knows exactly what they're trying to do.

Beal is averaging 20.7 points per game, almost seven more than he did as a rookie last season.

Tuesday, he had nine points in the third quarter and eight in the fourth in helping spark the Wizards to a come-from-behind 104-100 victory vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

He'll likely see more wrinkles in the defensive game plans to stop him. Beal had game highs of 25 and 28 points in his last two outings. He has made 6 of 12 three-point shots in that span. 

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"They're a lot more aggressive with me, trying to push me, get my mind out of the game more than anything," Beal said. "They're trying just anything to get under my skin. It's just something I have to continue to fight through. You have to be mentally tough and physically tough to get through it and rely on my teammates.

"Don't feel as if I have to take all the pressure upon myself. It's me and 14 other guys."

When John Wall focuses on pushing the pace and distributing first as he did in the Wizards' recent comeback win, Beal can be even more effective. He'll simply find the soft spot in transition, even off made baskets because of Wall's speed, and get open looks. 

Having Martell Webster in the starting lineup because Trevor Ariza is out (right hamstring strain) opens up the floor even more. So if defenses keep loading up on Beal, it'll result in Webster -- the Wizards' best three-point shooter last year at 42.2% -- filling that role.

Webster's three-pointer in the waning minute put the Wizards ahead for good 100-98 on Tuesday.