Wizards guard Bradley Beal had his coming-out party during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday, leading Pacers guard Paul George to declare he was “a superstar in this league.”
Then George shut him down in Game 2.
Instead of having George guard Trevor Ariza in Game 2, Indiana Coach Frank Vogel had him guard Beal. It worked.
“Paul George is a great defender. He made it tough on me,” Beal said.
Beal shot 7 for 15 from the field and was just 2 for 6 from beyond the three-point arc. On contested shots (a shot with a defender within four feet), he was 5 for 11 in Game 1 but just 2 for 7 in Game 2. Beal also went from a Net Rating (an estimate of point differential per 100 possessions) of plus-21.7 to minus-13.1.
Getting the transition game going will be key. In Game 1, Washington had a 20-14 edge in fast-break points, but in Game 2 that plummeted to 10-1 in Indiana’s favor.