NBA Washington Wizards

Bradley Beal Dark-Horse Candidate for MVP of Rising Stars Challenge

Bradley Beal Washington Wizards

Geoff Burke – USA Today Sports Images

In the first couple of the months of the 2012-2013 NBA season, the opinions about Washington Wizards rookie guard Bradley Beal could only be described as skeptical. However, with the return of John Wall last month, Beal is starting to round into form and raise his season averages, particularly his three-point shooting.

On the season, Beal is shooting a passable 36.5 percent from downtown. But in the 18 games that he played in January and February, most of which were with Wall back in the lineup, Beal has shot 50.6 percent from three-point range. Obviously, that’s really good.

The report on Beal coming into the 2012 NBA Draft was that he had tremendous shooting ability and could develop into a primetime outside-shooter. He seems to be on his way with the Wizards being healthy now.

On Friday, Beal will compete in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge as a part of NBA All-Star Weekend. As a member of Team Chuck, coached by Charles Barkley, Beal has an outside chance at potentially being the MVP of the game.

Since the game is mostly an exhibition with little-to-no defense being involved, it allows players to make a ton of plays offensively. So there’s a high likelihood that Beal will be relatively open standing beyond-the-arc. If he’s open, he will knock down threes.

So that means that Beal definitely has the possibility to go on a scoring tear in the game, which will definitely put his name in the conversation for the MVP of the contest. The only real worry are his competitors in the game like Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard who all have the potential to take home the MVP as well.

Regardless of that though, Beal is a dead-eye shooter that will put up points in bunches if he’s left open, which he likely will be on Friday. That at least gives him a shot at the MVP.

Cody Williams is a Senior NBA Writer with Rant Sports. Follow Cody on Twittter @TheSizzle20 and like his Facebook page.