Rookie guard Bradley Beal has suffered a few nagging injuries that have cut his initial NBA season short, but the Washington Wizards can feel confident that they made the correct decision by drafting him last summer.
The Wizards took Beal third overall in the draft last year, with the expectation of pairing him with franchise point guard John Wall to form one of the league’s best young back courts. Beal didn’t start off the season particularly well, as he struggled with his shooting and his aggressiveness, or lack thereof. His shooting percentage left much to be desired, as Beal was putting up just 12.1 and shooting only .353 from the field and an abysmal .269 from three-point range over the first could months of the season.
But in January, Beal turned a corner. In the 30 games Beal has appeared in since January 1st, the 6’3″ guard out of Florida is averaging 15.5 points on a much improved .458 from the field and a blazing .484 from long range. And it’s isn’t as if Beal is only take a three here and there; he’s shooting that accurately on 4.3 attempts a game. The most amazing thing about Beal’s play of late is that he has yet to turn 20 years old.
Washington has yet to see both Beal and Wall play healthy together for any long stretch, but the results that both have produced late this season are encouraging. If they both can remain healthy next year the Wizards could become one of the most improved teams in the NBA. The Wizards have veterans, youth and a couple of young, promising guards that could get them to the playoffs sooner rather than later.