NBA Draft 2012: Why Bradley Beal Is Better Pro Prospect Than Austin Rivers
With Austin Rivers declaring for the draft the questions are coming up, who will be a better pro, Rivers or Florida sensation Bradley Beal. I have to declare my zeal for Beal and say he'll be the better pro prospect.
There are a few reasons for this. The main thing that jumps out to me is that the thing you would expect Rivers to have an advantage in—basketball intelligence—he really doesn't. He makes a lot of questionable decisions and tends to force shots.
He doesn't play defense well. He forces shots. He doesn't get teammates involved. All of these things are things you would expect a son of an NBA head coach, Doc Rivers, who won a NBA Championship based on the principles of defense and teamwork, would excel at.
In fact it's Beal who seems to be more inclined in that direction, dishing out slightly more assists per game (2.2 to 2.1), shooting a better field-goal percentage (.445 to .433) and grabbing nearly twice as many boards (6.7 to 3.4).
Both players have the potential to be good scorers, but Beal seems to have a higher ceiling. While Rivers is trying so hard to be the "next Kobe Bryant" (which let's face it, he doesn't have the athleticism for that) Beal is just worried about being the fist Beal.
Who will be the better NBA player?
Beal has the potential to be an All-Star caliber player, not in the "Kobe Bryant" mold of shooting guards, but in the "Ray Allen/Rip Hamilton" type of shooting guard who runs around screens, creates shots off the ball and nails them. He's a terrific catch-and-shoot player.
Rivers is well known for his "fearless" shooting but they say there's a fine line between courageous and stupid. Sometimes Rivers is fearless to the point of stupidity, forcing up shots rather than pass off to a more open player.
You wold think this is the sort of thing that can be coached, but one has to wonder, if it could be coached out of him, wouldn't it already have been?
The reason that Beal will make a better pro is shocking. He's got the higher basketball IQ, and that's just not a disadvantage you'd expect to see in the son of a NBA head coach.
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