The Washington Wizards have one of the most promising young backcourts in the entire NBA. Of course, everything in their backcourt starts with the future of their team, point guard John Wall. They also added the highly thought of small forward, Otto Porter, in the draft this summer. However, it’s Bradley Beal, their first round pick from the 2012 draft that should be drawing more attention than he does.
In 56 games as a rookie last season before succumbing to season-ending injuries, Beal looked solid. He averaged 13.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 31.2 minutes per game while shooting 41 percent from the floor and 38.6 percent from long-range.
One of the most notable things about Beal as a rookie, though, was the progress he made even over just one season. In November, Beal struggled mightily to get things right as he averaged just 11.2 points and 3.3 rebounds on just 34.1 percent shooting and 32.7 percent three-point shooting.
December showed a bit of improvement for Beal, but worse long-range shooting, one of the reasons he is such a highly thought of prospect. He averaged 13.4 points per game on 36.8 percent shooting, but shot only 18.4 percent from three.
In January, though, Beal began to turn things around. In 15 games he averaged 15.1 points per game on 44.7 percent shooting and incredible 50.8 percent three-point shooting. In eight February games he continues that by averaging 17.5 points per game on 48.1 percent shooting and 42.4 percent three-point shooting before an injury-filled March ended his season.
A lot of Beal’s improvement last season was due to the return of Wall, but it also had a lot to do with him settling down as a player in this league. He became more comfortable and smart with his shot-selection and became more active off of the ball, which allowed him to find better looks.
If Beal can come into the upcoming season and continue to work on the things that made him successful at the end of his rookie season, he and Wall have the chance to be one of the best young guard duos in the league. Throw Porter into the mix and this team is going to be a force in the future. We shall see if Beal can continue to grow on the curve he set for himself last season.