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Daily Digits: Bradley Beal doesn’t need analytics to take the right shots

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Washington Wizards Media Day

Daily Digits is a new daily feature we’re doing at Bullets Forever this year where we take a look at stats about the Wizards. We’ll dive into the numbers, add some context, and discuss how it affects the product on the court.

Today’s stat is Bradley Beal’s effective field goal percentage on shots last season where no defender was within six feet of him, which was...

65.7%

Beal shared some interesting thoughts on Scott Brooks’ push to get the team to shoot more threes on Thursday, as noted by Candace Buckner of The Washington Post:

If a midrange is open, I’ll shoot it. I don’t get many open shots and Coach understands that so I’m not going to sit here and say I’m taking 10 [threes] a game but if I’m coming off a pick and roll and I’m open, I’m shooting it.

I’m not really an analytical guy, so y’all asking the wrong dude. I don’t give a damn about how many threes we put up. As long as we win the ballgame. If that’s what’s going to win ballgames, we’re going to do it but I just want to win games.

He backed up his words by taking this shot on the Wizards’ first possession of Friday’s game against the Miami Heat:

Regardless of how you feel about Beal’s opinions, the matter of the fact is he’s making the right decisions when he takes open shots.

He took 348 wide open shots last season—second-most in the NBA—and shot the 14th-best percentage among the 68 players who attempted at least 200 of those shots. Even though Beal dealt with more defensive pressure than ever last season, he still found ways to get open and make teams pay when he did—irrespective of where he was on the floor.

As we noted on Saturday, Brooks’ push to cut back on early mid-range jumpers is really about one person, and it isn’t Bradley Beal. Regardless of what time it is in the game, or where he is on the floor, if he’s got an open look, he should shoot it without any hesitation.