Going into tonight’s game (7:30, TV: Fox Sports Florida) at the Capital One Arena against the Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford has several concerns, but his biggest will be about stopping former Florida star Bradley Beal.
In the past 10 games, during which the 28-39 Wizards have gone 4-6, Beal has averaged 31 points, including a 46-point effort against the Charlotte Hornets on Feb. 22. During those 10 games, Beal has also averaged 6.7 assists and 6.0 rebounds.
“Just every part … he’s developed over the years. He was good when he first got in the league. What he’s developed is he’s got a pick-and-roll game, he has an iso game, he has a flash game, he has a catch-and-shoot game, which he always had,” Clifford said. “So he has so many different ways to score, and then the other thing is that he’s a very willing passer and he makes the right plays, so he puts so much pressure on the defense.”
Prior to the trade, Parker, who was the No. 2 pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, was averaging 14.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in about 27 minutes of action each night. Portis was averaging 14.1 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Portis has been impressive since the trade. In 13 games with the Wizards, he is averaging 15.3 points, including 30 points against Cleveland in his Wizards debut. He has also averaged 9.4 rebounds in those 13 games. But he has really come on strong in March. In six games this month, he has averaged a double-double with 17.7 points and 10.8 rebounds, while playing 28 minutes a game.
Parker is averaging 13.9 points and 6.8 rebounds since coming over from Chicago and he also has picked up the pace in March, averaging 17 points and 6.2 rebounds in 25.5 minutes per game.
“So they are five-out even more so and they have gotten so spread out,” Clifford said of the two newcomer’s ability to shoot the basketball. “They’re playing at a really quick pace and playing with great energy and confidence. You can tell they are in a good place right now. They are playing at a high level.”