With little to work on in terms of his game this offseason, Bradley Beal is looking to extend his shooting range.
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal has averaged more than 30 points per game in each of the last two seasons, as he finished runner-up for the scoring title in both seasons. Beyond leading the Wizards to more wins, as long as he isn’t traded of course, winning a scoring title looks like the next threshold to cross in his career.
As 3-pointers have become more a part of the game, Stephen Curry has led the charge of those willing to let it fly from anywhere past halfcourt. Obviously, not everyone has the confidence and ability to shoot from so far beyond the arc like Curry does. To say nothing of inspiring a coach to pull his hair out by shooting from so far out, at least until the shot goes in.
Bradley Beal wants to shoot more, and longer, 3s
Beal shot a career-worst 34.9 percent from beyond the arc last season, while making and attempting his fewest 3s per game since 2015-16 (2.2 makes and 6.2 attempts per game). How is he responding to those results with his offseason work? Here’s what he told Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.
“Deeper threes. I’m not trying to compete with Dame [Lillard], I’m not Logo Lillard. But I want to shoot deeper threes and shoot more threes,” Beal told NBC Sports Washington.
“You know I need to shoot more threes. You probably say it all the time. And, obviously, make them. I have to make them.”
As noted by Hughes, Beal’s transition to being more of a primary ball handler for the Wizards as John Wall was sidelined by injuries has impacted the efficiency of his 3-point opportunities.
Beal has taken more pull-up 3s over the last four seasons, sacrificing catch-and-shoot chances, with more attention from defenses leading to fewer open or wide-open looks. According to NBA’s tracking data, Beal’s percentage of 3-point attempts considered open or wide-open has dropped a full 18 percentage points from Wall’s last healthy season (2016-17, 38.7 percent) to last season (20.7 percent).
The Wizards’ offseason additions should help create more space for Beal to operate, as he suggested he is also working on his post-up game. Improvement as a 3-point shooter and as a post player puts a scoring title on the radar for him in 2021-22.