The most three-pointers Bradley Beal has attempted in a game this year is 14, against the Cavaliers back on Feb. 6 (Beal finished with 41 points in the OT game).
For Scott Brooks, that’s not enough. And the Wizards coach could win a bet about it.
Beal has started a blog (insert your “welcome to 2004” joke here) and his first post was in praise of Brooks. (Hat tip to Eye on Basketball.) He is far from alone in the Wizards’ locker room for loving the culture that Brooks has built. More importantly, the players like the rest they are getting (if the Wizards had a couple bad games and looked sluggish last season, Randy Wittman often had a hard practice as punishment, then shockingly the players were tired the next game). That rest is both keeping them healthy and fresh, and it has them as the third seed in the East.
But this was the best line out of the post, about Brooks’ work to instill confidence in Beal.
He made a bet with me at the start of the year that I won’t shoot 20 threes in a game. Like, he actually wants me to shoot 20 or more threes, and if I do, he wins. So that’s just one example of what I mean when I say he believes in us as players.
Both players and people around the team are heaping praise on Brooks for the transformation in the Wizards this season, who could potentially make the conference finals. Here is more from Beal on that front.
Ever since he got here, the culture has been different. Everything he does is about our team, our family. Win, lose, or draw, it’s always a collective effort. I know that sounds like something everyone says their team believes in, but it’s one thing to say it, and it’s another thing to live it.
With Coach Brooks, it’s never been about one player dominating the game, or winning us a game. There’s no favoritism for any of us. We’re all being held to a high standard, and knowing that has actually given all of us confidence. Coach trusts us all with the same responsibility, from the top down, and it’s spread throughout the players, too. The team atmosphere is great. It’s a family, brother-like atmosphere.
The Wizards need to build on that confidence to hold off the short-handed Raptors and keep the three seed in the East — meaning avoiding Cleveland in the second round. Do that, and this could be one of the deepest Wizards playoff runs in a long time.