Gators in the NBA: Beal scores 14 in All-Star Game debut

Bradley Beal, Stephen Curry
Team LeBron's Bradley Beal, left, of the Washington Wizards, shoots as Team Stephen's Stephen Curry, of the Golden State Warriors, defends during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Wizards guard Bradley Beal made his All-Star game debut Sunday night as a member of Team Lebron which got the 148-145 victory over Team Steph. Technically speaking it was Team Stephen that lost, but who calls the two-time league MVP “Stephen” outside of his mother and maybe his wife when she’s angry?
Speaking of nicknames that aren’t obvious to everyone, 24-year-old Bradley Beal is apparently known to teammates at times by the moniker “Baby Ray” after future hall of famer Ray Allen because of Beal’s excellent long-range shooting ability.
Beal had 14 points off the bench and got his night going with a dunk on a bounce pass assist from Lebron James himself who said earlier this season Beal was playing like an All-Star. Beal joined Lebron and Klay Thompson with the highest three-point shooting percentage in the game with 50 percent shooting from deep. Beal’s 50 percent was an uptick from his first two racks of balls in the 2018 three-point shootout Saturday where he made just 1-of-10 and missed the cut after just one round. Devin Booker (who was not an All-Star selection) won the contest with a record winning score of 28 points.

Also worth noting this week was Beal scoring 36 points in the largest comeback win of the NBA season as he led the Wizards on a 27-point comeback win over the Knicks, breaking hearts in The Big Apple on Valentine’s Day. Beal’s 36 was his highest point total this month and added seven assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks in the 118-113 win.
Around the NBA, there were only a few days of games this week, one other Gator All-Star and rumors about Joakim Noah to discuss.
Celtics center Al Horford was on Team Steph and played only 13 minutes in the All-Star Game but managed to rack up six points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal. Big Al also competed in the skills competition, but like Beal was ousted in the first round. Horford also somewhat engaged in a G.O.A.T. discussion with fellow all-star big man Joel Embiid that was caught on tape.

Florida had two active All-Star selections this year as did Kentucky, Connecticut and Texas. Kentucky would’ve had the most but Demarcus Cousins and John Wall were out due to injury, okay Kentucky had the most.
Conflicting reports out of New York came to light this week about what really happened between Knicks Center Joakim Noah and his coach Jeff Hornacek. Reports from Frank Isola and Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News said that Hornacek was the aggressor and actually shoved Noah during the practice session, but Marc Berman of the New York Post reported Hornacek never pushed Noah. The Knicks front office is siding with their coach for now but with Noah’s behemoth of a contract and the Knicks’ top two centers likely to opt out next year, it’s more likely for Noah to remain a Knick than Hornacek after this season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Boston Celtics
Al Horford (C)
Dallas Mavericks
Dorian Finney-Smith (F)
Los Angeles Lakers
Corey Brewer (F)
Memphis Grizzlies
Chandler Parsons (F)
Miami Heat
Udonis Haslem (F)
New York Knicks
Joakim Noah (C)
Orlando Magic
Marreese Speights (F)
Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal (G)
Devin Robinson (F)