Last season Bradley Beal just wanted to be on the court — so much so that when he sprained his ankles he kept playing. But if you play injured the body will compensate, and that leads to worse issues. Say, a stress reaction in your lower leg.
That’s what Beal got and he spent much of this off-season letting it heal.
Now he is in the Wizards training facility getting ready for the season while Chris Singleton and Emeka Okafor have already gone down with injuries. Beal told J. Michael of CSNWashington.com if he is injured this season he knows better what to do.
“Hopefully I can learn my lesson, stop being hard-headed and just sit down when I need to sit down,” said Beal, 20, who missed 26 games. “And listen to older guys, know my body and hopefully this year I’ll be injury-free.
“I’ll definitely tell them (to be patient), especially Chris with his foot.”
Beal is slated to be the floor-stretching shooter who pairs with John Wall in the backcourt, but Beal said he’s been working on his game and can do more than that.
“They definitely put a lot of skill work in me, a lot of ball-handling, things I need to do off the dribble,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to incorporate on the floor.”
The Wizards see themselves as a playoff team in the East, but the injury to Okafor — out indefinitely with a neck injury — could dampen those chances. It’s puts a lot more pressure on Nene, Kevin Seraphin, Jan Vesely and Trevor Booker up front, but also on Wall and Beal to put up points.
Washington needs not only a healthy Beal but also an improved one to make the postseason.
James Harden had a historic season in Houston.
Since it’s Friday afternoon and your sports viewing options consist of watching guys about to be cut from NFL rosters try to impress, why not check out Harden’s best plays from last season. It’s worth a couple minutes of your time.
Jeff Withey‘s ex-fiancée accused him of domestic violence, but he was not charged.
That frees him to continue his basketball career, which he’ll do in Dallas.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Mavericks could use another center, even if they re-sign Nerlens Noel. Salah Mejri is the only other true center, though Dirk Nowitzki will now play the position.
Withey is a good rim protector. Just don’t ask him to do anything away from the basket.
Dallas annually brings excess players to training camp and has them compete for regular-season roster spots. Whether or not his salary is guaranteed, Withey will likely fall into that competition.
The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.
Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.
Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:
I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.
Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.
But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.
Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction
On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.
The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.
Now, we know when.
The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11
After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.