If Bradley Beal can transfer lessons learned from his first NBA game onto the court for his first home game, expect a more assertive effort from the Florida rookie against the veteran Boston Celtics come Saturday night. After draining two early 3-pointers, Beal went scoreless during a misfiring second half against the Cavaliers in a matchup against fellow rookie Dion Waiters.
"I have to be more aggressive throughout the whole game," Beal said following Friday's practice. "I was mad at myself after the game because I know I didn't give it my all in the second half. I mean I came out pretty good in the first half and I just kind of disappeared. Throughout the whole game the coach was on my butt, he took me out for it, too. I just have to stay aggressive and stay within the flow of the game."
That could be easier said then done seeing as Beal now goes from primarily facing another newbie to three Celtic guards with their own unique styles. Rajon Rondo is the long-limbed All-Star point guard with a quirky yet highly effective style, Jason Terry is the savvy veteran who scores in bunches while Courtney Lee offers length and defensive intangibles.
Beal showed he's been doing homework on their various tendencies when asked about how the upcoming challenge.
"Terry can shoot the ball, all these guys have the green light to shoot and do basically whatever they want to do," Beal noted. "Rondo's real crafty with the ball and Courtney Lee can shoot the ball and slash to the basket as well so it's a lot of different tendencies that these players are capable of. I just have to be ready to play. At the end of the day its just playing basketball. It's not about black and white like coach Witt always says its always a gray. It's always in between. As long as you just playing ball and doing what he wants, you can't go wrong."
This is how it's going to be for rookie especially the first time around the league; study long, play hard, build on each performance.
"He’s just got to continue to learn," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "It’s a mental notebook each and every game here, when you’re a rookie. I told him early on. Keep a notebook. This is what I have to do against Dwyane Wade. This is what I have to do against Ray Allen. This is what I have to do against Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. And learn those things. That’s just part of it, tomorrow to. Tomorrow and we play them again. Each and every night it’s going to be a thing, so now, when you get that second, third time around, you know what you have to do better than you did the first time around."
As if facing Rondo and the Celtics wasn't enough, there is the simple fact that the Wizards first round pick - and also the most marketable player currently active on the roster - is readying for his home debut.
Beal: "I'm real excited. My family is going to be there on top of that and actually this is my town now, this is my city so I going to have to represent and just show what I'm capable of doing, as well as my teammates. We're going to have a big year, we're going to have a great team this year and hopefully the fans will be able to support us throughout the whole year. Just my immediate family, all my brothers."