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NBA playoffs: Bradley Beal says Cavs didn't play Wizards due to fear of losing early

Official News · 

Bradley Beal and the Wizards couldn't take down the Celtics, but the Washington guard says his team would have given the Cavs trouble. In fact, he appears to believe that Cleveland didn't go after the No. 1 seed due to fear of losing to Washington in the second round of the NBA playoffs.

Here's what he told SportsNet Central in an exclusive interview that aired Thursday:

"Cleveland didn’t want to see us. I always said that. I felt like that’s the reason they didn’t play us in the second round. They didn’t want to see us in the second round," he said. "If they were going to go down, they were going to go down in the conference finals. They didn’t want to go down in the second round."

The conversation was started by bringing up the game between the two teams near the end of the season where the Wizards took down the Cavs, 127-115 at Cleveland. The Cavs were at full strength, but were outmatched by Washington, leading some to believe a playoff series between the two would have been competitive.

Beal's comments also further add to the narrative that every team in the East is just aiming to take down LeBron James and the Cavs. Kyle Lowry reportedly wants to escape the East for that reason, his teammate DeMar DeRozan has commented on it and Joel Embiid specifically mentioned taking down the Cavs recently.

While Cleveland is the clear top dog, you can't just ignore the other opponents in the way. Beal can feel comfortable talking smack toward the Cavs now, but expect people to laugh in your face since you didn't even beat the Celtics first.

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