With the Wizards on a losing streak and Bradley Beal’s worth more than $15 million, many are wondering if he will hit “the panic button.” However, with all of the off-season changes around Washington, there is still hope that they can turn things around.
Bradley Beal, the Washington Wizards star shooting guard and leading scorer, has been dealing with a nagging injury that has kept him out of the lineup for much of the season. After missing his first game in two months on Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs, he issued a stern message to his teammates in an Instagram post. Read more in detail here: nba bradley beal.
Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards had the greatest start in club history not long ago, dating back to the 1974-75 Washington Bullets. In the past three weeks, things have altered dramatically.
The Wizards have lost four of their past five games since Nov. 17, and they face the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 8. Washington has dropped to fifth place in the Eastern Conference rankings after previously being first. The club of Wes Unseld Jr. is on one of the worst losing streaks among NBA playoff candidates.
Is this the start of a downward spiral? That is not the case, according to Beal. Nonetheless, his severe statement after a Dec. 6 defeat to the Indiana Pacers raises concerns.
The Wizards, according to Bradley Beal, need to show more “urgency” in their efforts.
In recent games, the Wizards have had a propensity to fall behind early, which is exacerbated by their inability to shoot from beyond the arc. They lack the three-point shooting ability to overcome significant deficits.
December 7, 2021 — Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS)
Bradley Beal is doing all he can to get his team moving. He uses a lot of motivational techniques to get his Wizards colleagues to put forth more effort.
Washington is being out-hustled by scrappy opponents, according to Beal, who said this over the weekend. He also cast doubt on the team’s early-season victories.
The 28-year-old Wizards forward told supporters (via NBC Sports Washington) that he is not yet ringing the alarm. He also demanded that the players in Washington’s locker room maintain their self-assurance. Beal, on the other hand, wants everyone to step up their joint efforts.
“I never press the panic button.” I’m not going to push the panic button, and I don’t believe anybody else is either. But, in terms of our attitude and effort, there is a feeling of urgency that has to be increased from everyone. We only need to put forth a little more effort. It’s never a question or an issue for us since we have the competence and aptitude.”
NBC Sports Washington’s Bradley Beal
In recent weeks, the Wizards have seemed to be lifeless.
In the first half of the Pacers’ defeat, Washington trailed by 15 points. It had been down by as much as 25 points against the Toronto Raptors the night before. In a game between the two clubs on Dec. 3, the Cleveland Cavaliers led the Washington Wizards by as many as 36 points.
Carelessness and a lack of energy might be the cause of slow starts, turnovers, and bad defense. Beal said that he wanted the Wizards to regain basketball’s “passion.”
One thing is certain: Given Beal’s uncertain future with the club, Washington must find some kind of consistency and put up greater effort.
Beal may get agitated ahead of the trade deadline if his team continues to play poorly.
On December 5, 2021, Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards drives against Precious Achiuwa of the Toronto Raptors during a game at Scotiabank Arena | Mark Blinch/Getty Images
Beal said early in the season that he wants to establish a winning team in Washington. He’s less likely to want to be a part of a squad that lacks the passion and other intangibles needed to compete.
If the Wizards don’t put up a fight over the next month or so, there’s a good chance Beal will consider requesting a trade.
For all intents and purposes, the three-time All-Star is in the last year of his deal. Beal has a player option for the 2022-23 season worth $36.4 million, but he’ll almost certainly reject it in favor of a more lucrative, long-term contract.
Should the Wizards continue to struggle, they may have to contend with the prospect that Beal would be unwilling to re-sign, forcing them to contemplate selling him in order to get some value.
In the coming weeks, the Wizards will be tested. However, it should be recognized that Beal must improve his own game in order to get the franchise back on track.
If the Wizards want to remain in the postseason race, they’ll need Beal to amp up his game.
Bradley Beal can’t afford to just ask his teammates for more. Given his poor start to the season, he has to be more responsible to himself.
Beal’s rating has plummeted. His scoring average has dropped to 22.5 points after averaging over 30 points in each of the previous two seasons. His assists per game are up to 5.9, but the Wizards need him to score if they are to succeed.
The perimeter efficiency of the St. Louis native must be improved first. He worked on his 3-point shot for the duration of the summer, but he’s only shooting 26.6 percent on 5.8 attempts per game. That’s hardly a recipe for success, particularly given the Wizards’ inability to shoot the ball effectively from distance as a team.
On December 8, Beal revealed that he had inked a contract extension with Jordan Brand. He must, appropriately, demonstrate Jordan-like leadership in improving his own game and motivating his teammates to play winning basketball. Wizards supporters can expect a breakup if this doesn’t happen.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics. Spotrac provided contract details.
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