Bradley Beal says he's encouraged to take long jumpers

USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards' guard told reporters on Tuesday that Randy Wittman wants him taking many of the long two-point shots that he sometimes settles for.

As we've written extensively about the Wizards' long two problem, a debate has raged over whether the Wizards' poor shot selection and distribution is encouraged by the coaching staff or is merely a byproduct of a starting lineup that does not space the floor especially well.

The answer is probably a little bit of both, but Bradley Beal's answer to a question at the end of Tuesday's practice about how to get to the free-throw line more lends credence to the theory that Randy Wittman is either endorsing those inefficient jumpers or at least isn't doing enough to corral them. (Scroll to the 2:50 mark of this Monumental Network video).

"There may be times when I do probably fall in love with my jump shot a little too much, but those are shots that Witt wants me to take, so I'm going to continue to take them," Beal said.

Clearly, "those are the shots Witt wants me to take" is not meant to be taken literally. Wittman isn't saddling up to Beal and telling him, You know, son, I think you are really good at those off-the-dribble 21-footers with a hand in your face. Forget the rest of your game. You gotta take more of those.

But this also isn't the first time that Beal has indicated he's being told to get shots up, even if they aren't especially efficient ones and even if he's not very good (35 percent on 218 attempts from 16-23 feet) at them. All coaches want their players to be aggressive, but there's a way to do that. If Wittman is shrugging aside poor Beal shots because at least he's being aggressive, I'm not sure how that makes Beal better. I'm also not sure how it makes the offense better.

Beal did later say he feels there "are points in the game" where he needs to attack the basket, and one would hope Wittman is giving the same advice. But now, I'm not so sure.

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