Bradley Beal's seeing more and more triple teams. He sees it as an opportunity.

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Ryan Homler
·3 min read
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Why Beal sees triple teams as an opportunity originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

When the Washington Wizards take the court each game, the opposing team understands that to win they are going to need to find a way to slow down Bradley Beal. The current NBA scoring leader commands the offense and can explode at any time.

That task, however, is easier said than done. And for the most part, it's going to take more than one defender. The double-team is something he's dealt with consistently, but now some teams are using triple-teams to slow him down.

While it can be annoying to have 60% of the defense focused in on him, Beal doesn't allow that type of defense to throw off his game. For starters, he knows the only reason it's happening is because he's that good at putting the ball in the hoop.

“It gets frustrating at times. I take it as a sign of respect early on in the game," Beal said to NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller. "Cause it’s like ‘okay ya’ll don’t even want me to get nothing off.’ So I’m like ‘okay, I’m going to go with it.’”

“I understand they’re trying their absolute hardest to stop me," Beal said. "That’s a sign of respect and I appreciate that."

This type of coverage also allows Beal to get his teammates involved and demonstrate his trust in them. He doesn't view a double or triple-team as a negative for him but rather a positive for the unit as a whole.

If he's getting that much attention, someone else has to be open.

"I feel like those are moments to uplift my teammates," Beal said.

"I think me being able to uplift my teammates by saying ‘listen, this is how we can all be involved. I’m getting off the ball and trusting you all to make the ball. I think that’s just been how I handled it.”

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Of course, Beal's competitive nature makes him want to be the one to score, but he's become okay with being the guy who gets the "hockey assist" that doesn't show up on the stat sheet but helps the team win games. It's a mentality he's always tried to display throughout his years in the NBA.

"I try to tell them all the time I’m not a selfish player. If I wanted to I would be Kobe (Bryant) out here and just shoot over these damn triple and double teams," Beal said." I’ve seen pictures of Kobe shoot over five people and so I’m pretty sure if I really wanted to channel that I could do that.”

Beal's ability to score at will does make it seem like even three defenders might not be enough to truly stop him. However, while he may be able to shoot over an entire defense, he's not going to try it just yet.

Right now the 2021 NBA All-Star starter views himself as someone who is "wrecking" the league. That seems pretty good but it's not where he wants to be. There is still another level to his game, and once he gets there, maybe then it will be time for him to channel his inner-Kobe when the triple-team comes.

“I don’t know, I don’t know. But that’s what I’m saying, maybe at me destroying the league maybe I’ll get there," Beal said. 

Tune in to NBC Sports Washington at 9 p.m. Saturday for full coverage of the Wizards' next game against the Trail Blazers