The Wizards (0-2) started training camp without John Wall and Nene and they may also be without Jordan Crawford for their rematch on Wednesday in Boston.
Crawford scored 21 points before spraining his left ankle in the fourth quarter last Saturday and will be a game-time decision. He lost out on the starting shooting guard job to Beal but has led the team in scoring in each of the first two games, taking the opposite approach from Beal by looking to immediately provide an offensive boost.
“It’s not really his game to force it. He likes to let the game come to him,” Crawford said, “but as a two-guard in this league, you’ve got to be aggressive and bring some of the attention to you on defense and that opens it up for other players.”
Beal will likely need to do more for the Wizards to have success against the Celtics but Wittman doesn’t want him to limit his focus to shooting the ball, noting how Beal had just one rebound in the last game.
“Bradley’s playing with no rhythm to his game and he’s got to do other things,” Wittman said.
Beal’s teammates have tried to offer words of encouragement to remind him of the difficult adjustment that rookies have in the NBA. Wall, who made his debut at age 20, offered pointers as he sat next to Beal for much of the game against Boston.
“He’s a rook. His whole season is going to be trying to figure it out,” said Okafor, the 2005 NBA rookie of the year. “He’s going to get down, because he’s going to try to do well all the time. He’ll learn that you can’t, and just give a good effort. You can’t get too high. You can’t get to low in this league. You’ve just got to keep an even keel and keep moving.”
The slow start has created other challenges for Beal, with his inbox, voicemail and text messages all featuring tips from wanna-be experts, telling how to fix the problems.
“You always have people who think they know the answers to everything. People are texting me, calling me. ‘Oh you’ve got to do this.’ ‘You’ve got to do that,’ ” Beal said. “I have too many people in my ear. So I have to eliminate that and keep my circle small.
“We’re trying to get wins here,” Beal said. “We’re 0-2. We have to figure out how to get wins and the outside people can stay on the outside.”