Wizards Vs. Grizzlies, Summer League 2012: Bradley Beal Struggles, But Washington Wins

The good news is that the Washington Wizards got a win over the Memphis Grizzlies, taking the game, 82-77. The bad news: that mostly happened because of guys not on the roster. The Wizards won mostly thanks to a gigantic rebounding advantage, one fostered mostly by Shavlik Randolph. Combine that with some strong defense from Jan Vesely (which was a positive!), and you get a win.

The other three big Wizards' stars of the Summer League team struggled. This was easily Bradley Beal's worst game, as he struggled to hit shots, had problems with defending Josh Selby and failed to make the same kind of playmaking impact as he did in previous games. Shelvin Mack had major turnover issues in the fourth quarter, and Chris Singleton, while aggressive, forced a lot of shots and went 3-12. Defense and rebounding won the Wizards this game, but you'd like to see a stronger performance from some of the more decorated players.

In any event, a win is a win. Some notes below the jump.

  • The mission of this game was clear: explore the other things Chris Singleton can do. The Wizards ran him into the post a couple times and had him run pick and roll as well. The results were mixed at best, but Summer League is the place to try these things.
  • Poor pick and roll defense by everyone, really. Things were far too easy for Jeremy Pargo and Josh Selby. Blame the guards and the bigs for poor communication.
  • Bradley Beal once again was in the background early, and again, I think that was by design. You'd like him to be more assertive in an ideal world, but clearly, the goal early was to explore Singleton. Given how important his mid-range game is to his pick and roll play, it was nice to see him hit his first one.
  • Tomas Satoransky's defense becomes problematic when he's guarding a guy like Tony Wroten. Wroten got by him off the dribble too easily, creating opportunities for himself and his teammates.
  • I just love Beal's on-court versatility. He spent half the first quarter perfectly executing plays not run for him so the Wizards could explore Singleton. He then spent half the first quarter executing plays run for him, whether it was pindowns or pick and roll. Finally, he freelanced on that fast break at the end of that half, using his natural speed and vision to give Steven Gray a jumper. It's so rare for a 19-year old to be able to change roles mid-game like that.
  • Singleton forced a shot on an out of bounds play that ended with an air ball. I would say his aggression was good, but he didn't finish plays very well. Now he knows what he must work on to be more than a shooter.
  • Singleton did put up pretty good numbers, though, so there's that. He just got lots of chances.
  • Jan Vesely's rebounding instincts just aren't really there. He has trouble reading the ball off the rim, which affects his box-out position, which affects his actual rebounding numbers. He did roll well to the rim offensively, though.
  • The Grizzlies have very good guards for Summer League, but that doesn't excuse the poor pick and roll defense the Wizards showed in the second quarter. Shelvin Mack was very poor with his angles, and the rest of the team didn't communicate.
  • It looked like Beal struggled with his decision-making against the Grizzlies' zone. He jacked up an impatient three-pointer on his first possession, tried a poor baseline move that got swallowed up on another, then cut to the rim into the trees from the corner instead of staying behind the line for an open three. He's faced zones in college, but none with these kind of athletes.
  • Singleton still needs to develop some lower-body strength. He wasted too much time gathering himself for two-foot jumps in the paint instead of powering through on the move.
  • Josh Selby hit some absurd shots in that second quarter.
  • Mack opened up the third quarter with two nice drives to the basket, but I was disappointed to see fewer people running with him. It worked out a couple times anyway, but if the Wizards want to be a running team, they need to run harder.
  • Beal's shooting motion needs to be a bit more fluid in games. He shoots a bit too slowly, almost like he's aiming it, at times.
  • Much better defense from Vesely in the second half. If he focuses more on playing instead of thinking, "I need to cut off this drive," then he plays better. I think he sometimes anticipates too much, overpursuing the play instead of being in proper position.
  • Shavlik Randolph did a nice job on the glass on both ends.
  • It seemed like early-Florida Beal returned in the third quarter. He struggled to hit shots, and he lost confidence in the rest of his game. It seemed like he aimed a lot of his shots. I also didn't like that he let Selby back-cut him defensively. He can't get down on himself like this, because it affected the rest of his game.
  • Two hands on the break, Tomas. Two hands.
  • Otherwise, though, Satoransky played pretty solidly offensively. Some nice passes in pick and roll situations, better defense and didn't seem rattled by defensive pressure.
  • The Wizards defended Wroten quite well in general. They used his tendency to over-penetrate against him, forcing him away from his strong hand and converging at the rim before he could elevate. The much-maligned big men of the Summer League squad did a really nice job.
  • Hell of a game for Shavlik Randolph. Not only did he put up numbers, but he played great defense.
  • Some sloppy moments offensively early in the fourth quarter. Also, missed shots. Also, Selby can't miss.
  • Really poor handle displayed by Mack when trying to split two defenders on the break. He has to stop dribbling so upright.
  • Steven Gray can hit shots.
  • The Wizards' bigs need to remember to step up on Selby when he runs pick and roll. Beal is trying to fight over screens, but he needs support when he can't do it.
  • Jeez, Mack's handle was so bad in that fourth quarter.
  • Good to see Vesely get some post-up opportunities in the fourth quarter. If I were coaching the Wizards in Summer League, exploring that would be my top priority for the fifth game.
  • Hell of a winning play by Beal on defense late in the game. He still has to get better when he's asked to take charge, but that was a sign of his value.
  • Incredible job on the glass, really. Everyone kicked ass. Unfortunate that all that was done by guys who probably won't be on the roster next year.
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