Wizards news: Bradley Beal studied James Harden, DeMar DeRozan
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Why Bradley Beal watched ‘a lot’ of film of James Harden, DeMar DeRozan before 2019-20 season

Bradley Beal. James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Wizards

Before the start of the 2019-20 season, Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal watched “a lot” of film of Houston Rockets superstar James Harden and San Antonio Spurs All-Star DeMar DeRozan.

Beal, who has established himself as one of the best players in the league, said he studied how Harden and DeRozan used their arms to draw fouls and get to the free-throw line more.

All that due diligence by the Wizards star worked, as Beal averaged a career-high eight free-throw attempts per game in 2019-20.

“We watched a lot of James Harden and DeMar DeRozan, seeing how they use angles, use the body, use their arms to draw fouls,” Bradley Beal said, via Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.

“At first, I hated it because I love to play through contact and didn’t want to put it in my game. I felt like it was kind of taking away from my aggressiveness of hooping. But then I just tried it early in the season, and I got to the line like five times off of it. I was like, OK. Well, damn. This really does work, so let me just keep doing it.”

It was announced on Tuesday that Beal won’t be playing in the “bubble” games because of his lingering shoulder issue. With that, the St. Louis native finished the 2019-20 season with stellar averages of 30.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists.

The Wizards should be playoff contenders in 2020-21 since Beal will have All-Star point guard John Wall with him in the backcourt. Wall missed the entire 2019-20 season recovering from his Achilles tear.

With a healthy Wall and Beal leading the charge next season, expect the Wizards to be a dangerous team, especially since both players will be motivated to quiet their doubters and make the postseason.