The Washington Post

Bradley Beal on his regular season debut: ‘I was all over the place’

(Photo by Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post)

His eight-point showing in Tuesday’s season-opening 94-84 loss to Cleveland wasn’t necessarily the NBA debut Bradley Beal envisioned. He didn’t record a point in the second half, committed two turnovers and was largely contained by Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters. 

Beal knew he could have done better and, after viewing footage of the contest in a lengthy film session Wednesday, he realized how much. 

“I critique myself so hard. I was all over the place. I wasn’t there mentally. I wasn’t as hyped or active on both ends as I usually am, Coach definitely pointed that out,” Beal said. “It’s hard for me to see because I’m out there in the game, I think I’m playing hard but until he actually shows you the film and it’s totally different – film never lies. I have to be more aggressive, be more assertive and just be ready to play.”

The third overall pick in the 2012 draft, Beal’s self-awareness is almost uncanny for a 19-year-old and his composure has been praised by numerous teammates. But that doesn’t mean Beal won’t face challenges during his rookie season and learning how to adjust will be key for the St. Louis native. 

After a quick start to the preseason, Beal’s point production dipped. He had a scoreless, 19-minute outing in the preseason finale at San Antonio and against Cleveland, in the regular season opener, he faded over the course of the contest. 

“He’s going to have some ups and downs,” Coach Randy Wittman said. “One thing, he can’t lose the focus of making and missing shots affecting his overall play: defensively, getting into guys, running the floor, being aggressive off the dribble, he can make plays. I think it has the last couple of games. 

“Obviously, San Antonio wasn’t a very good game, and I thought the makes and misses of shots affected his play as well” against Cleveland, Wittman continued. “He’s got to get back to being the guy with the bounce in his step and moving all along. He’s lost a little bit of that, but that’s part of being a rookie and going through those and learning how not to fall into those lapses.”



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