Pregame warmup: Beal describes shooting woes as 'mental'

Pregame warmup: Beal describes shooting woes as 'mental'
March 28, 2014, 4:00 pm
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For the last 14 games, Bradley Beal hasn't made at least half of his shots. Since he finished second in the Three-Point Shootout during the All-Star break, Beal has fallen to less than 40% from long range. He's also less than 40% as a shooter overall. 

Part of it could be blamed on injuries -- though Beal won't accept that -- to his right ankle and now his right hip after Wednesday's spill in a 99-93 loss to the Phoenix Suns. Beal went 3-for-11, missing all five of his attempts after returning to play with a hip pointer. Ever since Beal set a career-high with 37 points by making 15 of 24 shots on Feb. 11 at the Memphis Grizzlies, he has cooled. 

"Pretty much every team tries to deny me the ball, make sure I don’t come off screens and shoot," Beal said. "Teams are definitely recognizing it. It’s up to me to figure out a way to get past it."

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At this point for Beal last year, he started to break down physically. It was in April when he was first diagnosed with a stress reaction to his lower right leg that prematurely ended his rookie season. It returned in late November. Then there was the ankle sprain that led to him being carried off the court. Just before that was back tightness. 

"You can't use that as an excuse but I’m not going to. Everybody probably feels the same way you do. Guys are tired," he said. "Everybody has injuries at this time of the year. To me, it's all mental. If you can overcome it mentally I can continue to shoot the ball the way I’ve always been."