Wittman on Bradley Beal: 'Looks like a hockey player'
At the trade deadline one year ago the Washington Wizards sent JaVale McGee to the Denver Nuggets in a multi-player deal that landed them Nene. In a much smaller move the Wizards shipped Jordan Crawford to Boston for Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins on Thursday. Crawford had fallen out of Randy Wittman’s rotation (4 straight DNP’s) and was visibly upset about it throwing his jersey into the stands following Tuesday‘s loss against Toronto. Barbosa is out for the season with an ACL injury but this move was more about addition by subtraction.
With Crawford out of the mix the Wizards are moving forward with Bradley Beal at shooting guard. He’s averaged 21 points in his last three games and scored 23 points including 4-of-7 from 3-point range in a 112-108 win over the Nuggets back in January.
Meanwhile Beal’s back court mate John Wall will look to bounce back from one of the worst outings of his career. Wall missed 11-of-12 shot attempts and turned the ball over seven times in Tuesday s 96-88 loss to Toronto. In their first meeting Wall had one of his best games of the season against Denver scoring 14 points and dishing out 12 assists in just his fourth game back from injury.
Beal and Wall are the future of this Wizards’ franchise and shipping out Crawford on Thursday was further evidence of that. Washington is 10-9 since Wall returned from injury and there is more fluidity to their offense. There is more ball movement and less one-on-one play. As gifted as scorer Crawford is (13.2 ppg) he has a tendency to dominate the ball. The main reason he’s in a Celtic uniform now is his refusal to adapt to the Wizards’ new approach.
The Wizards will have their hands full against Denver. Like Wall, point guard Ty Lawson can at times be a one-man fast break. He had 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting in January’s defeat. “They push the tempo,” said Nene who had seven points and four rebounds in the first meeting against Denver. “We know Ty Lawson has lot of confidence and the heart of the team is Andre Miller, but the young guys, they’re doing really well."
This will also be the first time McGee sets foot in the Verizon Center since being traded. He’s averaging just under 10 points and 5 rebounds for the Nuggets.
You can watch the Wizards take on the Nuggets at 7pm on CSN.