During the Washington Wizards 110-103 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, Wizards guard Bradley Beal was taken down by Bucks guard Matthew Dellavedova. Beal attempted to drive to the paint and Dellavedova took him out around the neck. The two had to be separated and Dellavedova was ejected.
“He plays super aggressive. Sometime overly aggressive,” Beal said after the game, via ESPN. “That’s just his knack, ever since he came into the league. ... That play was kinda crazy. I understand you want to stop the ball, but there’s a right way and a wrong way.”
Dellavedova is known for his scrappy and according to some players around the league, dirty play. Beal was visibly frustrated after the game, explaining that Dellavedova’s play against him was disrespectful.
“[Dellavedova is] known for undercutting guys trying to box him out and stuff like that,” he said. “I give no credit for that. I give credit to him for being a hard player that’s hard-nose, one of the old-school-type players that plays very physically, I give him credit for that. But when it comes to doing dirty plays, I have no respect for him.”
Plays like those are what the epitome of what playoff basketball is like, especially in the Eastern Conference where it tends to be more physical. The games get chippy with hard fouls and borderline cheap shots. Despite plays like Dellavedova’s on Saturday not having any place in today’s game, they run rampant in the playoffs.
Washington has a chance to let this game set the tone for the rest of the season. Beal showed that he wouldn’t back down from a physical play, when he immediately got up and approached Dellavedova.
In the absence of forward Otto Porter, both center Marcin Gortat and forward Markieff Morris played well. Gortat had 17 points and seven rebounds, while Morris had 14 points and 10 boards. Both players played physically the entire game and furthermore, Washington had all five starters in double figures. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 14, Beal had 20 and John Wall had 16. Beal and Wall could’ve used another scorer on the floor to ease the pressure off of them, as they shot a combined 31.55% from the floor.
Washington was out-rebounded on Saturday, 45 to 34. They were valiant in the effort without Porter, who averages 6.5 rebounds per game, but they needed more from their bench on the glass. Center Ian Mahinmi was solid, grabbing five boards in 13 minutes, but between Jodie Meeks, Tomas Satoransky and Mike Scott, they only had two rebounds.
Despite the Wizards losing and being out-rebounded, they should take this game with a grain of salt. They weren’t at full power and this roster probably isn’t in its final stages of being built yet. If they continue with the type of physical play that they showed in last night’s game, they will be victorious in a series or two during the playoffs. They will be hungry and fired up after the game and rightfully so.