Russell Westbrook yells at Deni Avdija to shoot according to Bradley Beal

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Bijan Todd
·2 min read
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Russell Westbrook yells at Deni Avdija to shoot, Beal says originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

When Russell Westbrook yells at you to shoot the ball, you should probably shoot the ball.

Wizards rookie forward Deni Avdija had an excellent performance on Wednesday night vs. the Orlando Magic, going 4-7 from three-point range for 16 points, five rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes of play. His confidence may have been boosted when his former MVP teammate ‘yelled’ at him to shoot, according to Bradley Beal.

“I feel like on offense, Russ yells at him if he doesn’t shoot the ball. So, whenever Russ yells, you do what the hell he says and you kind of let the results play out as they may,” Beal said after the Wizards’ 131-116 win in Orlando.

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Avdija came in as a hot prospect from Israel, and in just over 23 minutes per game this season, he’s posting 6.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg while shooting 42% from the field. While Avdija did struggle from 3-point range earlier this season — he went through a nine-game stretch in March during which he hit only five total threes — he’s picked it up of late.

“We all just constantly encourage him to be aggressive, look for his shots, don’t be afraid to push the ball a little bit,” Beal said Wednesday. “Learn and know when to cut, when not to cut, when you have a mismatch when you can post up, when you can’t. So he’s understanding it, he’s definitely gravitating towards it and he’s learning and we love his aggression. We’re definitely happy he’s able to see some go in, build his confidence up.”

Avdija was a key part of the Wizards’ starting lineup during the 11-game stretch before the All-Star break when Washington went 8-3. Along with Rui Hachimura, Avdija will be a crucial member of the Wizards’ young frontcourt that can provide energy in tandem with the veteran presence at the guard position.