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Beal wise beyond years

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Beal wise beyond years

When Jason Kidd first entered the NBA as a rookie with the Dallas Mavericks in 1994, Bradley Beal was literally in diapers.
 
Thursday night at Verizon Center, the two guards were on the same court – one approaching the end of a brilliant 18-year NBA career, the other hoping to achieve the same greatness.
 
“It was weird, actually, knowing he’s a future Hall of Famer,” Beal, 19, said of his first NBA game against Kidd, 39.
 
“He’s probably one of the best point guards who ever played.  It’s a great feeling, but at the same time I’m playing against him so I just have to attack him and get the best of him.”
 
For the record, Beal and Kidd both came off the bench on Thursday. In 25:35, Beal recorded 15 points, five assists, one steal and one turnover. In 22:56, Kidd had four points, four assists, three steals and three turnovers.
 
One of those steals came against Beal.
 
“That’s a vet move,” Beal said of his one turnover. “I should have seen that coming. That’s how smart these guys are and how experienced they are. I just have to catch up to them and be two steps ahead of them.”
 
With 17,071 career points, Kidd has proven why the Mavericks took him with the second pick overall of the 1994 draft. Beal has the next 15 years to prove why the Wizards made him the third pick overall last June.
 
Wizards teammate Martell Webster says that after two preseason games Beal already is starting to show glimpses of greatness.
 
“He says he wants to compare himself to Ray Allen, but he’s a little more flash than Ray Allen,” Webster said. “I’d say he has a little of the flash, D Wade, in him.
 
“He can slash, put it on the floor, and make contact. That’s big. When you can establish yourself at the free throw line, seven, eight times a game, that’s a big difference.
 
“He’s got it. He’s still a rookie. He’s learning the basics. If he keeps watching the players that he admires, takes little bits and adds them to himself, he’ll be a star in this league.”
 
Wizards point guard Jannero Pargo says what impresses him most about Beal is his ability to play a calm game when the pace is furious.
 
“I'm very impressed,” Pargo said. “I think he's poised beyond his years. He's aggressive, but he’s not moving too fast.. He plays the game at his own pace. He's not rattled by anything. He takes the game as it comes to him and that's very refreshing for a rookie.”

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Brooks thinks 'a lot' about what could've been with Durant and 1st playoff run with Wizards

Brooks thinks 'a lot' about what could've been with Durant and 1st playoff run with Wizards

The consolation prize for Scott Brooks after the playoffs was being able to watch Kevin Durant, with his mother in tow, celebrate the NBA Finals MVP and championship trophy a few weeks ago. His Wizards, who fell in seven games of the East semifinals, had long been booted.

All Brooks could do was reminisce about his run with Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka that led the Oklahoma City Thunder to the cusp in 2012 only to end with a five-game loss in the Finals to the Miami Heat. 

"I think about it a lot," Brooks said of his former team, which fired him after they missed the playoffs despite 45 wins in 2015, to CSNmidatlantic.com. "A lot of things happen. Tough trade (Harden to Houston), some bad fortune with injuries (to Durant) but those are all part of the game. ... Kevin and Russell and Harden were able to carry one of the youngest teams in the history of the game to the NBA Finals in 2012. We came up short three games but we got there. When you're there and you're that young you think you're going to go back again. It's human nature. Even as a coach you thought that this team is going to continue to grow. But a lot of strange things happen. A lot of things that you can't control."

Brooks led Washington to 49 wins and a No. 4 seed in the East. They had a legtimate shot to upset the No. 1 seed Boston Celtics but couldn't win a road game in the series. 

[RELATED: Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 18: Wiz make a deal]

If Brooks only could have similar success with John Wall and Bradley Beal in Washington, where the franchise hasn't been to the conference or NBA Finals in four decades, that would make up for what he missed out on with Durant. His Golden State Warriors will be hard to topple but Brooks has four fully guaranteed years left on his deal. He has time to get it right. 

"I spent eight seasons with (Durant) so I had a lot to do with his early development. I'm happy for him. I'm happy for his family. A good family. A great kid," Brooks said. "The thing I love about K.D. is he's the most humble superstar I've ever been around as a former player, as a coach I've never been around a guy so good that he really doesn't feel like he's one of the best players. He almost thinks of himself as a guy that's just trying to make the team. ... I would've loved to had the chance to coach him here but I'm happy for him to get the championship and to see his family happy. It was a good moment for all of us."

As a free agent a year ago, Durant didn't give his hometown Wizards a meeting before quickly deciding to sign with Golden State which has now won two of the last three NBA Finals.

It was a pipe dream for the Wizards to land him anyway, but what they could control is what happened in Game 2 vs. the Celtics. They hadn't won at TD Garden in three years and had Boston on the ropes. The score was 110-104 as Marcin Gortat missed the second of two free throws and then Isaiah Thomas came alive to bury Washington with big shots down the stretch to force overtime and end with 53 points.

"All I do is shake my head because all I think is we're up six, we miss a free throw so we could've been up seven with (2:43 left) and then we gave up two critical threes," Brooks said. "Both (defensive) mistakes. .. A couple breaks here and there we could've went to the (conference) finals."

The Wizards aren't at the level of his best Thunder teams, but at least they're heading in the right direction. This offseason will be crucial in whether or not they can keep building on it. 

[RELATED: Wizards like Tim Frazier's ability to contribute right away]

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Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 18: NBA Draft breakdown with Kurt Helin, plus the Tim Frazier trade

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Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 18: NBA Draft breakdown with Kurt Helin, plus the Tim Frazier trade

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Commuter Connections, Chase Hughes, J. Michael and Chris Miller go in-depth on the NBA Draft, the Wizards' trade for Tim Frazier and how other deals done around the East affect the Wizards' chances in the conference.

Kurt Helin of NBC Sports' Pro Basketball Talk joined the show to give a national perspective on the Jimmy Butler trade, which team won the draft and whether the Wizards should re-sign Otto Porter.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play.

[RELATED: How does trash talking in the NBA compare to other sports?]