At face value, the Washington Wizards are an insignificant team in the landscape of the NBA. Having just a 29-52 record and being well out of the picture for the playoffs, there’s nothing about the Wizards that seems worth noting when you look at them. However, when you start to dig deeper, it becomes apparent that this is a team with a ton of potential that people need to keep an eye on.
Obviously it all begins with John Wall, who has been absolutely phenomenal since returning to the floor after recovering from a knee injury. He has showed improvement on his shot, his elite ability to get to the rim, and proficiency when it comes to making plays and facilitating his teammates. He’s proved that he’s the young leader of this young team.
Wall has been the main focus of Washington over the second half of the season. However, one player that has been overlooked because of how well Wall has been playing and because of injuries has been rookie Bradley Beal.
Early in the season, Beal struggled to get things going offensively because the offense wasn’t being run to fit his style of play, which is mainly off the ball and on the perimeter. From the start of the season until Dec. 31, Beal averaged just 12.1 points per game on 35.3 percent shooting from the field and 26.9 percent from three; that’s not very good.
However, in the 30 games before his season-ending injury that Beal played in since Jan. 1, he has looked like one of the most promising players in the entire league. Over that span he averaged 15.5 points per game while shooting 45.8 percent from the floor and 48.4 percent from long range. His three-point percentage is the best over that time frame for any player that took more than 100 attempts.
Beal’s performance since the start of 2013 was obviously due to the return of Wall and him gaining experience at the professional level. As he gets healthy and continues to get more experience and to develop further, Beal is going to be a dangerous shooter in the NBA. With him, Wall and the solid supporting cast of the Wizards, they are indubitably a team on the rise.