Posts Tagged ‘Bradley Beal’

Aaron Gordon posterized Bradley Beal

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — At some point this season, perhaps once we reach a critical mass, I will break out the Posterized Poll, where we vote on which player was posterized — a.k.a. dunked on — the most mightily. For now, even though we are only days into the new NBA season, we have a contender for the list.

Last night in Orlando, Magic forward Aaron Gordon caught a buzzer-beating put-back dunk, which was pretty nice on its own. What made it posterizable? Unfortunately for Washington’s Bradley Beal, he got caught standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. And it’s weird because Beal didn’t really get “dunked on,” at least not in the traditional definition of what it means to get dunked on. But thanks to Beal’s reaction, as he gets sent stumbling into the photographers, I think this qualifies as getting posterized.


VIDEO: Gordon Beal

The Atlanta Hawks go showtime

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — On Sunday afternoon, the Atlanta Hawks hosted the Washington Wizards, in a game between the best teams in the NBA’s Southeast Division. Going in to the season, the Wizards were tabbed by many to win the division, but while their start has been slowed by an injury to Bradley Beal, the Hawks have surprisingly turned into one of the best teams in the NBA. I know, it’s shocking, but it’s real and the Hawks just keep on rolling — heading into yesterday they had won 21 of their last 23 games and lead the Eastern Conference with a 28-8 record.

So yesterday’s match between the Hawks and Wizards had some ramifications. But the Hawks took control from the start, weathered a run from the Wiz, and won it going away, 120-89. And it wasn’t just that the Hawks won, it was how they did it — the Hawks had a bunch of pretty cool highlight reel plays.

Let’s start with Kyle Korver, who is having an historic season shooting the ball. He leads the league in three-point percentage, shooting over 52-percent from beyond the arc. So when Korver has the ball, defenses pay attention. Which gives him the opportunity to do stuff like this…


VIDEO: Korver Pass

And then there’s second-year point guard Dennis Schröder, who has had a breakout season. With the shot clock running down at the end of the game, Schröder took a three to beat the buzzer, and he pulled a Nick “Swaggy P” Young…although Schröder had better luck at it…


VIDEO: Schröder Shot

Top Plays Spotlight: John the Benevolent


VIDEO: John Wall has exhibited a passion for finding the open man this season

John Wall just keeps getting better.

The 24-year-old guard from Raleigh, N.C. continues to elevate his game, entering the second week of the New Year leading the NBA in assists. He has not only usurped reigning dimes champion Chris Paul, but he has eclipsed his previous high average set last year at 8.8 per game.

Wall is posting 10.3 helpers a night, finding teammates through getting deep in the paint, waiting until the last second to unload to Marcin Gortat or Nene or Kris Humphries on a cut. If that’s not there, then he can dart his eyes toward the wings, where Paul Pierce, Bradley Beal and Rasual Butler are usually waiting with a clear look at the rim.

And if nobody is open, he can always just finish.

Elite athleticism and speed gives him the ability to maneuver in traffic and adjust to contact. Steadily improving court vision allows him to find the open man. His 6-foot-4 frame can absorb more punishment than most. Add his studious approach to the game and we have a guy poised to rank among the best of a Golden Age of NBA point guards for a good minute.

Horry Scale: Beal’s timely tip-in


VIDEO: Beal’s timely tip-in

A road win is a good win. It doesn’t matter if you’re in second place in the conference and your opponent is five games under .500. If you can go into someone else’s building and leave with a ‘W’, it’s a good night.

So Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards won’t be apologizing for the way they pulled out Wednesday’s victory in Orlando, coming back from five points down in the final minute, with the inexperienced Magic leaving time on the clock after an attempted game-winner when they didn’t have to.

And who should apologize for a brilliantly designed and perfectly executed game-winning buzzer-beater?

DIFFICULTY

Beal’s role in the play wasn’t all that difficult. Where the ball was placed, he just had to catch it and lay it in.

It was inbounder Andre Miller who had to loft a perfect pass over 7-footer Dewayne Dedmon. And Miller did just that.

GAME SITUATION

The Magic gave this one away. They were up five with a minute left. After Elfrid Payton stole the ball from Paul Pierce with a three-point lead and 40 seconds left, they didn’t run down the clock, and Tobias Harris got whistled for an offensive foul on a fast break.

After John Wall cut the lead to one, the Magic didn’t use much clock again. And after Victor Oladipo missed a layup, Willie Green committed one of the worst fouls you can commit, a loose-ball foul on your own end of the floor with your opponent in the bonus.

The Magic were lucky that Washington missed two of its three final-minute free throws. But when they had a chance to win the game with the shot clock off, Oladipo launched his game-winning attempt with more than three seconds left on the game clock. That left the Wizards with 0.8 after they grabbed the rebound.

IMPORTANCE 

The score was tied, so a bad pass or a blown layup wouldn’t have killed the Wizards. And since the opponent was a non-playoff team, the game didn’t have the importance of one against the Raptors or Cavs.

CELEBRATION

Beal went with the standard, jumping, sideways chest-bump. Wall, meanwhile, ran through the tunnel like the Wiz had won Game 3 of The Finals.

GRADE

The play design deserves and ‘A’. The execution too. But this was a tie game against the Magic, so there could have been much higher stakes. Three Horrys.

horry-starhorry-starhorry-star

Bradley Beal in local car dealership ad

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Continuing our search for great local ads starring NBA players, here’s a clip from a Washington D.C.-area car dealership starring injured Wizards guard Bradley Beal. He’s not exactly singing — he’s lipsyncing. And he’s not exactly dancing either. But as far as local ads go, it has all the classic hallmarks.


VIDEO: Beal Syncs

(via DC Sportsbog)

The NBA takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

By Jeff Case


VIDEO: GameTime: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken social media by storm the last few weeks and according to alsa.org, the campaign has raised immense awareness for ALS (which stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but is better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Here’s more from the ALSA:

In the last two weeks, the Ice Bucket Challenge has quite literally “soaked” the nation. Everyone from Ethel Kennedy to Justin Timberlake has poured a bucket of ice water over his or her head and challenged others do the same or make a donation to fight ALS within twenty-four hours.

Between July 29 and today, August 12, The ALS Association and its 38 chapters have received an astonishing $4 million in donations compared to $1.12 million during the same time period last year. The ALS Association is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from those people who have been doused, made a donation, or both. Contributions further The Association’s mission to find a cure for ALS while funding the highest quality of care for people living with the disease.

“We have never seen anything like this in the history of the disease,” said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the level of compassion, generosity and sense of humor that people are exhibiting as they take part in this impactful viral initiative.”

With only about half of the general public knowledgeable about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the Ice Bucket Challenge is making a profound difference. Since July 29, The Association has welcomed more than 70,000 new donors to the cause.

Everyone from celebrities to, perhaps, some of your friends on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are challenging each other to dump a bucket of ice-cold water on themselves to further awareness of ALS. That list of participants includes NBA players, who have taken on (or doled out) the Ice Bucket Challenge, too. Here’s Michael Jordan, Team USA, Kevin DurantBradley Beal, John Wall, Damian Lillard, J.R. Smith and more taking the plunge:


VIDEO: MJ Ice Bucket

(more…)

John Wall Wins Dunk Contest Award, Eats Gator, Will Wear Onesie


VIDEO: Wall’s Winning Dunk

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the biggest surprises of All-Star weekend may have been Washington Wizards point guard John Wall winning the “Dunker of the Night” award during the Sprite Slam Dunk contest. Wall, not generally known as a dunker, completed a terrific reverse dunk over Wizards mascot G-Man to clinch the award. Check the video above for a super slow-mo Phantom Cam look at Wall’s winning dunk.

But as it turns out, that dunk was just a brief portion of a momentous weekend for Wall. Also on Saturday, Wall’s former school Kentucky had a game against Florida, the former school of Wall’s backcourt mate Bradley Beal. Despite Florida being ranked second and Kentucky being ranked 18th, Wall made a wager with Beal over the outcome of the game. Wall also set some high stakes, even if Beal was unaware of those stakes. My main man Michael Lee from the Washington Post will take it from here

Wall declared that the loser would have to wear a footed pajama onesie of the opposing school to practice.

“He know what’s up with me. He might not want to want to see me,” Wall said on Saturday morning. “You know how that is, you’ve got a big rivalry going on. He got to wear that Kentucky onesie if we win. I have to wear that Florida onesie if they win. He don’t know that yet. That’s what I made. I’m the big brother so I make the rules.”

Wall never shared those stakes with Beal, whose Gators defeated the Wildcats, 69-59, around the time that Beal was finishing second in the three-point shootout and Wall was preparing to lead the Eastern Conference to a dunk contest win.

After scoring 12 points in his all-star debut for the victorious East, Wall said he still planned to make good on his essentially self-made bet.

“I got to go buy me a onesie…and I will wear it to practice and I will wear it all day long,” Wall said. “I got to go find one. When I find one, I’ll let you know, before I walk in there. The day I get there, I won’t wear it, I’ll tell you and then I’ll wear it the next day.”

When told that he probably didn’t have to go through with it since he never told Beal about the deal or the stakes, Wall shook his head and said, “I’m the older brother, so it’s whatever I say goes. I’m a man of my word and it’s all in the newspaper now.”

If Wall was looking for any measure of revenge against the Florida Gators, he may have found it in a New Orleans restaurant, where he chowed down on some Gator. “That’s one of my favorite foods down here,” Wall noted. “Tastes like chicken.”

MUSCLEWATCH (Update 3)

hibbert_split

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We are deep into training camp and media days, which can mean only one thing: MUSCLEWATCH 2013 is fully upon us. And even as I am knee-deep in MUSCLEWATCH reports, coming in from around the NBA, imagine my surprise last week when I flipped on NBA TV and found MUSCLEWATCH reaching its largest audience yet:

(more…)

Draft Diaries: C.J. McCollum

By C.J. McCollum, for NBA.com

The Graduate

CJ McCollum and family

The proud graduate with his family.

When I saw the look on my Mom and Dad’s face as I crossed the stage at graduation, I knew all the hard work and late nights in the library were worth it! I graduated from Lehigh University a couple weeks ago, and not only did I feel a great sense of pride, but I had a lot of fun! My whole family was there to see me graduate. Mom, Dad, Grandma, Aunt, and almost all of my cousins were there. We did miss my brother, though, who is overseas playing professional basketball in Greece. I hadn’t seen my family since Easter, so it was nice to spend time with everybody and enjoy the end of a fun, exciting chapter and the start of a new one with them.

NBA TV was on-site documenting the whole thing. They started taping my family and me before we left the house in the morning and then captured more footage at graduation. They also interviewed my teammates and coaching staff at Lehigh. It’s supposed to air when it gets closer to the Draft. Oh, and I took a selfie with the school president as she handed me my diploma, which was hilarious – I hope NBA TV got that on film!

A lot of students and their families were asking for my picture and for an autograph. It took my Mom and I about an hour and a half to get from the field where we had graduation back to the car since I kept stopping to talk to people. It was definitely fun for me, especially because I can clearly remember a time when nobody wanted my autograph. In the last two years, as I’ve progressed in basketball and made more of a name for myself, I realize I get that request more and more often and I take a lot of pride in that.

The whole graduation experience was filled with mixed emotions. It was great to celebrate and get together with my friends one last time in a college setting. I felt content with my college career because I did just about everything I wanted to accomplish, except winning a National Championship of course. It was tough, but all of the hard work was definitely worth it!

Front Row At The Draft Lottery

I had a chance to go to the NBA Draft Lottery, which was awesome! I went with Anthony Bennett and Michael Carter-Williams, two fellow Draftees I’ve spent a lot of time with since I started training in Long Island. Not only were we sitting front row, but I also got the chance to meet Damian Lillard, who was the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year. We’ve been in contact over the last few years, so it was good to finally meet him in person. I had a chance to speak to him privately about his experience transitioning from a smaller school to the NBA. I also was interested in hearing how he stayed consistent and dealt with the ups and downs of his rookie season.

After I spoke to him on the side, NBA TV taped Anthony, Michael and I picking Damian’s brain a little bit, asking all kinds of questions about life in the NBA.

Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, top picks in the 2012 NBA Draft, were there too and it was real nice to meet them. They were cool and happy to share their experiences with us.

We also met and shook hands with Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner, soon to be Commissioner Adam Silver. I hope to be shaking Commissioner Stern’s hand again very soon at the Draft!

I’ve always watched the NBA Draft Lottery on TV, but to be there live and in a situation where the Lottery will dictate which team will Draft me … now that’s very interesting.

Eye On The Prize

We’ve been tapering down our training a bit so nobody gets hurt, especially since we’re traveling to a lot of team workouts. Of course we’re still getting in our reps, but it’s just not as intense.

It has been nice to see all of the positive feedback from teams and the media. Sometimes I look at the player rankings, but I don’t read into it too much or let it alter my mindset. The path to the Draft is a long process and all you can control is how hard you work and how well you prepare yourself and I feel like I’ve done a good job with both of those things.

It’s actually been easy for me to stay focused and on the right track because I’ve been looking forward to this opportunity for a long time. I’m almost there, I can taste it … the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp, the NBA Draft Lottery, next thing I know it will be Draft night, so it’s all business right now. I have been able to enjoy myself a little bit though. Last week I took in a Yankee/Mets game, which was great.  Special thanks to the Lehigh Alum who took care of us at the game. We have a great alumni network and I’m proud to now be part of it! Aside from the baseball game and a barbeque on Memorial Day, it has been all about basketball!

As for my mindset now, I’m fully recovered from my injury, and my body feels strong. I have my college degree. I’m looking forward to the next opportunity and hope to reach my dream of not only getting drafted, but also becoming an NBA mainstay and building a legacy in the league. I’ve worked extremely hard, and I’m ready for the next step!

I’m not sure if I’ll be blogging again before the Draft, so make sure to follow me on Twitter @CJMcCollum and on instagram and vine @3JMCCOLLUM to catch the latest on my journey. Wish me luck!