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Bradley Beal goes in depth on transition from Wizards to Suns

It’s no secret that this year’s Phoenix Suns team starkly contrasts to Bradley Beal’s Washington Wizards teams.

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Beal has had to go from being the No. 1 option to part of a “three-headed monster” featuring himself, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, as coach Frank Vogel calls it.

“We’re trying to blend having a three-headed monster, not a first option, second option, third option, but putting three guys out there that can all beat, that can all go for 40,” Vogel said pregame before the Suns faced the Wizards. “We’ve been striking that balance. It’s a different approach with this team than what (Beal) was used to here in Washington.”

Beal showed everyone in D.C. that he can still thrive no matter the system, as he scored a season-high 43 points in his homecoming, leading the Suns to a 140-112 victory over the Wizards. With the 43 points, every member of the Suns’ Big 3 has now scored 40 or more points in a game this season, just as Vogel said pregame.

Among the people that Beal said he was excited to see back in Washington were the media, and several wondered how the transition to this system has been for Beal after watching him be the guy in Washington for several years.

“It’s been an adjustment for sure,” Beal said. “You go from being very ball dominant to now you share that dominance with three other guys, including (Jusuf Nurkić). It’s a sacrifice, and it’s also an adjustment of learning your different role. My role is totally different here than what it was (in Washington). It’s a process, but it’s one that’s been working really well for us.”

Beal has only played in 26 of the Suns’ 50 games this season, but now is finally starting to gain continuity with his star teammates. Beal, Booker and Durant have played 19 games together, and the Suns are 12-7 in those contests.

“I mean, we’re still trying to be a healthy team, all in one I think we’ve only collectively played 20 some odd games together healthy,” Beal said. “It’s a little sample size, but we’ve had a lot of success in that we know what we can do, we know what we can continue to get better at. And we’re just pushing towards that every day.”

Beal is averaging 18.1 points, 4.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds this season. Before this year, Beal had not averaged under 20 points per game since the 2015-16 season.

However, he is very appreciative of the unselfish star teammates he has around him and the fact that they allow him to be himself, so he can have games like the one he had against Washington any given night.

“Ego was out the door the moment I decided to leave D.C.,” Beal said. “You have to understand you’re going into a situation of like, hell, (Booker) was me in Phoenix. He’s been there nine years. You’re going somewhere where you’re helping another guy uplift his team, uplift him as a player and uplift his status. And we have (Durant), one of the best to ever touch a ball.

“For me, it’s, ‘How do I fit into that?’ And the thing I love the most about them two is that they tell me to be me. Like, ‘We need you to be yourself. We didn’t bring you here to do anything other than that.’ That’s very encouraging to me. It’s very uplifting. That’s what kind of helps mold and make that transition a lot smoother when you have guys who are selfless like that.”

Beal and the Suns will look to carry this momentum into Phoenix’s next matchup on Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Bradley Beal reflects on returning to D.C. and scoring season-high 43 points

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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