Bradley Beal made a game-winning layup against the Knicks a couple weeks ago, because the Knicks are inept.
The Knicks’ embarrassing defense had more impact on the play than anything Beal did.
But the Wizards couldn’t count on New York screwing up – well, maybe they could’ve. Regardless, the Wizards had a play drawn up in case the Knicks didn’t part like the Red Sea to allow Beal an easy lane for a layup.
Watch Beal’s game-winner again:
Marcin Gortat is coming over to screen for Beal, a good move for the Wizards when the need a basket. Gortat screening for Beal a great part of any play, and Beal is happy to share credit.
Beal, via J. Michael of CSN Washington:
“I give a lot of credit to March. He screens his butt off,” Beal said of Gortat, who is 6-11 and 240 pounds. “He makes life easier for you. He gets you open when you need to.”
“When he tells you to shoot the ball, you better shoot the ball,” Beal said. “You have to love a big like that that’s willing to get guys open, willing to do all the little things for the team to help us win.”
The numbers completely support Beal’s perception. He shoots much better when Gortat is on the court.When Beal and Gortat share the court, the Wizards offensive rating is 108.1 – a mark that would rank third in the NBA, behind just the Trail Blazers and Heat, over the full season.
Safe to say, the Wizards will keep using those two in tandem.
Nikola Mirotic will be out 4-6 weeks due to his concussion and fractured jaw.
Bobby Portis has been suspended for the first eight games of the season for causing those injuries to Mirotic with a punch at practice.
What does this mean for a Bulls locker room that was already going to have to deal with the weight of losing a lot of games. I get into all these questions in this latest PBT Extra.
It’s going to be a long season in Chicago.
Wednesday night in Boston Gordon Hayward underwent surgery to repair his dislocated ankle and fractured tibia suffered just five minutes into the season-opening game, a gruesome injury that put a pall over the rest of the night.
There had been hope from some Celtics fans that Hayward could return this season, likely for the playoffs, but now that the surgery is complete Hayward’s agent told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN not to expect him back until next season.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who saw the injury. Hayward is in the first year of a four-year deal with the Celtics, they were always going to choose a cautious path rather than rush him back. Under Danny Ainge Boston has always taken the long view, even with all their moves this summer — specifically bringing in Hayward and Kyrie Irving — the target was to be the team set up for next as LeBron James and the Cavaliers faded. That plan does not change now.
Earlier in the day, Hayward had sent a video message out to Celtics fans thanking them for their support in the past 24 hours.
Without Hayward, the Celtics now will focus more on smaller lineups, rookie Jayson Tatum will get more run, as will Marcus Smart in his contract year. Jaylen Brown will be thrust into a more significant role. Also, Kyrie Irving will be asked to do more as the team’s second-best playmaker is now out for the season.
The Celtics will take a step back this season without Hayward, who was going to be crucial for them on both ends of the floor. That’s evidenced by their 0-2 start, falling to the Cavaliers and Bucks on the first couple nights of the season. Boston should still be a team well above .500 and in the playoffs, but they will not be quite the same this season.
Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.
More than fine.
Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.
Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):
The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.
Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.
Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.