Gators in the NBA: Beal’s success equals wins for Wizards

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal reacts after a three-point basket during the second half of an NBA game against the Chicago Bulls, on Sunday, in Washington. Beal had 39 points, and the Wizards won 114-110. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Sandwiched between two solid wins over the Rockets and the Celtics, the Washington Wizards dropped a game 113-99 to the last-place Atlanta Hawks.
Wizards guard Bradley Beal seemed to play well according to the box score, scoring just under his season average in points with 20 and added six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and three steals. But he shot under 40 percent. In Washington’s wins this year, Beal is shooting 49 percent from the field and just 39 percent in its losses. That is substantial considering he takes around 20 shots per game.
Just taking the sample size from this week,  Beal went 7-of-19 or 36.8 percent in the loss to Atlanta, and in the Washington’s three wins this week, Beal shot 40 percent, 52.9 percent and 55.2 percent, respectively.
On New Year’s Day, Beal had his best game as he scored 17 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter against the Bulls, and was an assist and a rebound shy of a triple-double as he continues to become a problem for defenses and someone opposing coaches have to gameplan specifically for.

Around the NBA, Celtics forward Al Horford continues to make the right plays and last Thursday he hit the game-winning shot for Boston in a 99-98 thriller against the Rockets on national television.
Horford’s dynamic abilities has allowed him and coach Brad Stevens to adapt his role on a game-by-game basis to whatever the team needs that night. He can score, pass, block shots, rebound and defend the perimeter with length and good agility for a big man.

Magic forward Marreese Speights helped spark a run that lead to Orlando getting its first win in almost three weeks in a 102-89 win over the Pistons.
Speights scored the last nine points in the third quarter of the Detroit game and began the fourth quarter with another three, then he dished an assist to D.J. Augustin for another 3-pointer on the next offensive possession that turned a five-point deficit into a double-digit lead.
Lakers forward Corey Brewer has gone over his season average in minutes the past three games including a double-overtime game against the Rockets on New Year’s Eve that the Lakers lost 148-142. Brewer contributed nine points, six rebounds and four assists that game and scored 12 points with two steals in a loss to Minnesota on Monday.
Heat forward Udonis Haslem connected on a 3-pointer for just the third time in his career in a loss to Brooklyn on Friday. The home fans gave the Miami-native a loud cheer despite the game being all but decided.
Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons has missed three games in a row with soreness in his knee while Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith has now missed almost two full months with tendonitis in his knee.

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) – G-League affiliate Delaware 87ers