Magical Pixels, Wizards vs. Knicks: Bradley Beal getting hot at the right time?

Maddie Meyer

Bradley Beal saved the Wizards' bacon against the Knicks with a cold-blooded jumper in the waning moments. Big Panda seemed to struggle with his shot for so long, we all might have forgotten just how awesome he is when he's stroking it.

Mike kind of stole my thunder already with his excellent feature on Bradley Beal having seemingly snapped out of his recent shooting slump, but I'll go ahead and just reiterate the point: If true, this is huge.

Like, way huge. I noted on Sunday that  Beal was shooting 38.1 percent in March. Well, Big Panda is either a regular reader of Magical Pixels (unlikely), or I just happened to make note of Beal's struggles at the right time (more likely), because in Washington's three games since, Beal has shot a combined 27-for-42 (64 percent), including a 28-point, 12-for-22 effort Friday in leading the Wiz to victory and a season-sweep of the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Somewhat remarkably, Beal's game against the Knicks was about as un-Beal as you could get. Heretofore, Wiz fans have known Beal as a remarkable three-point shooter, but ineffiecient, passive midrange shooter, always willing to jack up a long-two rather than drive to the basket.

Well, against the Knicks, Beal only shot 1-for-8 from three. In the past, that alone signaled a dismal game for Beal. But against the Knicks, he had one of his better games of the season by attacking the basket more aggressively. Sure, he also made a bunch of midrange jumpers, but after first probing the defense to see if a better shot lay ahead. He didn't just pull up at the first sign of being open.

Why is this huge? Well, because the Wizards are far better with a hot Beal than a cold Beal, and with the playoffs a mere six games and nine days away, hopefully Washington's sophomore star can carry his newfound streak into the postseason.

Imagine, a surging Beal, and a returning Nene? Someone wipe up my drool.

KEY LINKS

Road team recaps: BF StoryStream | Washington Post (gamersidebar) | AP | CSN Washington (recapsidebar) | Wiz of AwesDC Pro Sports ReportWizards.comMonumental Network

Home team recaps: Poasting and Toasting | AP

Game highlights

Postgame interviews: Randy WittmanBradley BealJohn WallTrevor ArizaMarcin Gortat

KEY STATS

55.5 - Combined shooting percentage of Beal and John Wall versus the Knicks.

16 - Washington's scoring advantage in the paint (38-to-22) against New York.

TWEETS OF THE NIGHT

VIDEO/GIF OF THE NIGHT

You know what's coming.

Here's full highlights of Beal's big night at MSG.

Then there's this little piece of insanity concocted by Mike.

GAMETHREAD COMMENT OF THE NIGHT

GAMETHREAD ROLLCALL

# Commenter # Comments
1 HailSkinz 93
2 Hands11 91
3 Wall_Hopeful 81
4 elliotlevy2 76
5 TheBackCourt 74
6 qthaballa 71
7 wad0cash 36
8 jarem 34
9 MC-Sneaks 32
10 Banode 28
11 DCKRS 25
12 LRJ 21
13 lobster11 19
14 tw10 19
15 Nickdogggmoneycash 17
16 nesby8 14
17 novadada 12
18 ryanwadams 11
19 abala 10
20 Rice2012 10
21 Joe.H 9
22 BealMVP4ever 8
23 Knowledge92 8
24 BulletsBaby 8
25 jazzy1 7
26 ATrueNigerian 6
27 The Hoops Guru 6
28 reglw22 6
29 KappakidToo 6
30 Inside Job 5
31 John Wall Stan 4
32 thewiz06 3
33 DapperDistrict 3
34 ThePGPhenomenon 3
35 Houseofguards 2
36 ddavisxx10 1
37 makpilot23 1
38 hotplate 1
39 Izzy.Bae 1
40 obeast 1
41 DCON88 1
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