This was one of those plays that had everyone talking after the game. "Did you see that play Beal made?" "Did you see that block?" Reporters, players, coaches, fans.... They were all talking about Beal's tremendous display of athleticism that may have saved the game for the Wizards.
Let's set up the situation.
The Wizards were down one with 1:12 left in overtime when John Wall sent a pass from the corner to the top of the key. Jameer Nelson stepped in front and picked off the pass, then raced down court for what looked like an easy fast-break layup. But, trailing him on the play was Bradley Beal, who soared through the air and rejected his shot. Wall was also trailing the play and grabbed the board, would get it back to the other end and find an open Trevor Ariza in the corner for a go-ahead 3-pointer.
So, the Wizards went from being down three with 1:07 left to up two with 1:00 left in overtime. A five point swing in the matter of seconds. The type of play that can make or break a game. This time, Beal made it.
But there was even more to the play that needs to be pointed out than what we all saw in live action.
Watch the replay a few times and notice the hustle that not only Beal made to block the shot, but look at how far Wall came from where he made that errant pass. If he does not hustle back for that board, the Magic have two players underneath the hoop for an easy two. Wall's hustle was equally as important as Beal's.
Then watch the play set up on the other end and how Trevor Booker has the frame of mind in a frantic set to put a solid screen on Ariza's defender to free him up for the open 3-pointer. All of these things are what led to this incredible sequence for the Wizards.
"It was a hustle play, one we needed. John threw a pass that got deflected. My first instinct was to go chase it down. John was able to grab the rebound and push it for Trevor to hit the three. I was timing up my steps. I was going to try to block it at least. He (Nelson) had a little head start on me and I guess I kind of baited him into it and was able to jump up and get it before it was a goal tend."
Players & Coaches Reaction
"The biggest play of the game for me was when Brad hustled down and got the block. I came back and got the rebound and found Trevor from another Trevor that set a great screen and got him an open 3."
"In the past I probably would have not hustled back and pouted and kept my head down."
"That was huge. Brad saved us, he definitely saved the game for us. A play like that you got to finish, especially in overtime time like that when momentum is shifted. Once he made those plays I got the ball and Book made a tremendous play with that screen he set and got me an open look and I knocked it down."
"Brad chases it down, John ran from the far corner to get the loose ball. Those are the kind of plays you have to make to win games like that."
"It was a heck of an effort, probably one of the plays that saved the day."
"He's super athletic, he's young, he's making a name for himself. He's going to be huge, he's one of our rising stars and in the future he'll be an All-Star."
This will certainly be remembered as one of the plays of the year for the Wiz. And to make it even more dramatic, Beal was hurting late in the game and had to get treatment on his back just to get back out on the court for the overtime period. He fought through the pain and persevered to make this play. Unfortunately, he would then be helped off the court after spraining an ankle in the final minute of play and is day-to-day. The Wizards now look to carry the momentum gained from this game into a key conference battle with the Nets on Saturday night at Verizon Center.
Dave and Glenn's Call
GUTSY road win!!! BIGTIME plays down the stretch by everybody on the court @RealDealBeal23's block @John_Wall and @TrevorAriza 3's #wizkids
— Garrett Temple (@GTemp14) March 15, 2014
When the #Wizards win this game, that will be the sequence that did it. Beal block on Nelson breakaway to Ariza 3. #WizMagic @WashWizards
— Casey Phillips (@caseyreporting) March 15, 2014