Teammates pave way for Beal to find groove
Bradley Beal settled into his seat following Game 2 of the firstround series with the Atlanta Hawks, faced a microphone and row of reporters and smiled. “I’m dolo today,” Beal said. He was met with confused glances, and so Beal explained his slang. “By myself,” Beal clarified. Following the Washington Wizards’ 109-101 win, Beal had the solitary spotlight. The seat next to him was reserved for John Wall, but since his running mate had not finished his postgame routine of showering, dressing and, occasionally, taking his sweet time, Beal had the podium to himself.
As the man said, he was “dolo.” However, Beal didn’t feel alone during the game Wednesday night. Even when his shot didn’t fall, teammates backed him up.
They found him underneath the rim or waiting on the wings, trusting he would convert those passes into buckets. They still set screens to give him breathing room. And even though Beal entered the fourth quarter on a 4-for-18 cold streak from the three-point arc in the playoff series, with 38 seconds remaining in the game, Wall sent him a pass and immediately raised his arms to signal a made three-pointer.
Beal again bounced back from a rough night, torching the fourth quarter by shooting 6 for 9 and scoring 16 points. Beal finished with 31 (12 for 27 from the field), his second career game of 30 or more in the playoffs.
And he couldn’t get there by being “dolo.”
“It’s great,” Beal said, responding to Wall’s show of support late in the game. “Especially John, more than anybody, he doesn’t care if I shoot the ball 100 times in a game or how many I make or miss.” Ah, there’s that word again. Just as Beal uses hip phrases to express solitude, he also redefines words to fit his mentality. He claims he doesn’t know what “miss” means. Beal shared that back in January, while he was in the midst of the worst three-point shooting stretch of his career. On Wednesday, Beal explained why he has feigned ignorance for more than a year.
“Something I always tell myself, I don’t know what a miss is. Like, it’s over. A miss is a lady. You just forget about it, and you just move on to the next shot,” Beal said. “That’s my way of helping me forget about my last shot, so I just stick with that and just keep it moving.”
Other Wizards do, in fact, understand the meaning of “miss” but don’t care how many shots Beal misses. They just want him to shoot.
“He’s a franchise guy with me also on this team, but we need him to be the scorer for us,” Wall said. “We don’t care if he shoots the ball 30 times. I don’t think he knew he shot it 27 until he got into the locker room.
“Like we said, those are all good shots you’re taking. When he’s aggressive for us, it opens up the floor for me, and it was good to see him get it going in the fourth quarter and make some shots to close out the game.”