The Washington Wizards fell short of reaching the franchise's first conference finals since 1979, falling to the Boston Celtics in seven games in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Despite his exceptional 38 points in the 115-105 Game 7 loss, Wizards guard Bradley Beal obviously hit his head at some point between getting eliminated three days ago and Cleveland's Game 1 blowout win over the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Beal told reporters that the Cavs were hoping they didn’t have to face Washington and hinted that King James’ fear of the Wizards caused Cleveland’s unexpected plunge to second place in the Eastern Conference.
"Cleveland didn't want to see us," Beal told CSN Mid-Atlantic on Thursday. "I always said that. I felt like that's a reason they didn't play us in the second round. They didn't want to see us in the second round. If they were going to go down, they were going to go down in the conference finals. They didn't want to go down in the second round.
"They knew we would give them that competitiveness and that challenge. We were going to bring it every night and go out there and try to win. We weren't going to be fazed by who's on the floor. Dang, it sucks. It sucks. It sucks."
Cleveland has scorched all comp in these playoffs, going 9-0 and winning by an average differential of 10 points per game. Cleveland won the season series 2-1, but Washington did beat them by 12 in March. That followed a high-scoring 140-135 Cleveland overtime victory in February.
A game that John Wall said was probably the biggest game he ever played in.
Maybe that’s the reason the Wizards can’t ascend to a higher level as team. When your bread and butter ballers are making delusional statements like the one Beal made, there’s obviously some dysfunction going on.
Talking tough about a hypothetical situation when his team had every opportunity to set up a matchup with Cleveland, but couldn’t even get past the Celtics, is just plain stupid. Beal needs to keep it moving, work on his game and prove all of his ambitious rumblings on the court.