Bradley Beal used to have zeal for the long two, but not anymore according to Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post, who quotes Beal:
“The biggest thing, man, like I’ve been preaching all summer, is just not shooting those long twos,” Beal said Monday, later adding another objective is to be named first-team all-defense. “It’s going to be kind of hard not shooting an open shot that you have and Witt’s screaming in our ear ‘Shoot the ball,’ but at the same time that’s something I want to eliminate as much as possible and it’s going to be in my mind. Hopefully I won’t be shooting and be like, ‘Dang, I shot a long two,’ and that’s constantly on my mind.”
To say he shoots a lot of long twos is hardly a stretch. If we define one as any shot outside of the little semicircle and inside the bigger one (because they don’t vary much in expected value), Beal averaged 6.3 attempts and shot 33.5 percent from long-two last year. Based on Basektball-Refernece.com’s Play Index, the only player who shot more such shots and made them at a lower rate was Michael Carter-Williams.
According to Castillo, the change of philosophy came about with help from Beal’s trainer, Drew Hanlen:
Beal and his trainer Drew Hanlen decided he had to cut back on the shots after evaluating film and statistics after last season. They then centered Beal’s offseason regimen on finishing around the basket and creating his shot from beyond the three-point line, including a step-back three-pointer.
“It’s just a matter of me knocking them down with confidence,” Beal said. A look at his shot chart confirm that, as Beal will be moving shots from the red areas to the green areas, and that’s a good thing if you’re a Wizards fan.