The Wizards are 11-10 this year against teams with losing records and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith called them out for it after the team’s 107-104 home-loss to the Jazz on Wednesday. Smith said Bradley Beal’s clutch stats were sub-par and questioned Beal’s decision making late in the Jazz game, specifically when Beal lost the basketball as he tried to take the game-tying shot and was denied by Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell.
Beal also had five turnovers in the game and the Wizards shot just 8-for-22 from the field in the fourth quarter with Beal going just 1-for-7. This has been a trend for Beal and what Stephen A. alluded to in the video below as he has also gone 0-for-8 in his last two fourth quarters.
On the bright side, Beal does lead all Eastern Conference guards with the most games scoring 20 or more points this season (33) and should be a lock for the East All-Stars this year. But, Beal does need to become a better player in the clutch if Washington is serious about making it to the Eastern Conference Finals and beyond this year. The Wizards finished up the week with wins over Orlando and Brooklyn (both sub-.500 teams) and Beal averaged 27 points and 6.5 assists on 57 percent shooting in those outings.
Stephen A. Smith calls the Wizards out after losing to the Jazz at home last night. pic.twitter.com/eS5F2uSkYq
— DC Maryland Virginia (@DMVFollowers) January 11, 2018
Around the NBA, Celtics forward Al Horford led his team in assists and rebounds in the London game on Thursday as they came back from a 22-point deficit and won the game over Ben Simmons and the Sixers. Horford had solid numbers overall contributing 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Boston in the 114-103 win.
Magic forward Marreese Speights had 14 points and two blocks in Orlando’s 110-103 loss at Milwaukee and the veteran has taken a leadership role with the struggling Magic. Speights also brings a certain toughness to the team and has taken 10 charges this year while the next closest player on the Magic has only taken four.
The Memphis Grizzlies rested forward Chandler Parsons for the seventh straight contest on MLK Day as the Grizz beat the Lakers 123-114. Memphis is 3-4 in the absence of Parsons and 14-28 overall.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Al Horford (C)
Dorian Finney-Smith (F)
Los Angeles Lakers
Corey Brewer (F)
Chandler Parsons (F)
Udonis Haslem (F)
New York Knicks
Joakim Noah (C)
Marreese Speights (F)
Bradley Beal (G)
Devin Robinson (F)