When you have a point guard that isn’t a fine shooter, the perfect complimentary wing player is one who can. While Rajon Rondo could drive past anyone, his safety net was having the likes of Ray Allen and Paul Pierce on the perimeter for kick-outs. Similar to that situation is third year guard John Wall. Luckily for him, he’ll have Bradley Beal to be his safety valve.
Beal’s game has been almost everything that scouts raved about in the draft. Slightly undersized for a shooting guard, Beal’s ability to spread the floor will be something Wall will be reluctant to have for seasons to come. While his three-point percentage (38 percent) is nothing to rave about, the way he shoots the ball when paired with Wall on the floor is drastically different. When Wall was out with a knee injury to start the season, Beal struggled to get going. He was fighting to have all of the attention on him in the perimeter and hitting the rookie wall at times. Once Wall returned, Beal’s true game began to show.
According to NBA Statscube, Beal has shot 39 percent from the field and 34 percent from behind the arc in the 2384 possessions (via NBAwowy) when Wall is off the floor. In the 839 possessions the pair has been on the floor together, Beal’s numbers increase drastically. His field goal percentage jumps to 47 percent and his 3-point percentage jumps to 48 percent. Wall’s assists per-36 minutes increase from 7.4 to 9.6 when Beal is on the floor with him. He also gets to the free-throw line more.
Watching John Wall improve over the course of the season bodes well for the Washington Wizards. More importantly, watching Beal improve with their star point guard on the floor must give them comfort for seasons to come and Beal’s game is nowhere near complete. Playing with Wall over the course of his rookie season could have propelled him to be the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, but his beginning struggle makes him a late bloomer to the RoY similar to Stephen Curry during his rookie compaign.
This is only the beginning for this duo. For the next few seasons, we’ll be able to see Beal take advantage of John Wall being the attention getter on offense and flourishing from Wall’s drive-and-kick game. He’ll have time. These two will be together for years to come.