What Washington Wizards Learned About John Wall and Bradley Beal Backcourt
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Once Washington Wizards fans are able to look past the team's losing record for the fifth-straight season, they will realize the great potential that the Wizards have thanks to their two young stars, John Wall and Bradley Beal.
While this season was Wall's third in the NBA, Beal was only a 19-year-old rookie coming out of Florida.
This duo in the backcourt gives Washington the necessary building blocks to compete for a playoff position in the near future.
For one, both Wall and Beal have the ability to put up a huge number of points, which is a serious need for the Wizards, as they rank 27th in the league in points per game.
Wall missed the first part of the season with an injury, and Beal was in and out of the lineup with various injuries, most recently being shut down for the remainder of the season with a fibula injury after Washington's game against the Chicago Bulls on April 2.
However, when both players were healthy, they put on great scoring performances. When Wall was out of the lineup, Beal was the team's leading scorer and is second on the team, averaging just under 14 points per game.
Wall has recently been on a tear, averaging 24.5 points per game in his last 10 games, bringing his season average up to 18.4 points per game.
Wall's year has also featured game totals of 33, 37, 35 and 29 points.
When Wall missed the first 33 games, Beal was featured prominently in the team's offense.
In just the fourth game of his career, Beal dropped 22 points against the Milwaukee Bucks. The very next night, he scored 17 against the Indiana Pacers, a team that ranks second in the league in defense.
Scoring is always great to have on a team, but Wall has also excelled in dishing the ball to his teammates this year as well.
Wall currently ranks sixth in the league in assists per game and is leading the team.
Since Wall's return to the lineup, he has greatly boosted the production of small forward Martell Webster, as Webster is averaging three more points per game since Wall recovered from his injury.
If Washington truly wants to excel, however, Beal and Wall have a number of areas they need to improve on.
Coming out of college, many analysts were concerned about Beal's shot selection, concerns that turned out to be valid. He often settles for three-pointers that are out of his range and overall has a problem taking high-percentage shots.
Beal finished the year with a 38 percent three-point percentage, making just about one-and-a-half out of every four shots he took from behind the line.
During his rookie campaign, Beal often had dreadful shooting games, including a 3-for-11 performance in his last game of the year against the Bulls and an 8-for-22 game in December against the Atlanta Hawks.
Wall has a similar problem with shooting, as he continues to struggle making shots.
While Wall's shooting percentage has gone up every year he's spent in the NBA, he is still below a 50 percent shooting percentage.
And when Wall struggles shooting, the team struggles. In losses this season, Wall has shot 39.7 percent from the floor, compared to over 50 percent when the Wizards win.
Outside of shooting, Wall needs to cut back on the turnovers. He has averaged over three turnovers per game this year, although that number is down from last year.
Who has the more promising future for the Wizards?
That number compares to other point guards in the league that Wall could one day become, including Chris Paul who only averages just over two turnovers per game, as well as Deron Williams who is also under three per game.
If Wall and Beal can make these minor changes to their games, as well as keep up their point scoring, Washington will have one of the best backcourts in the game for years to come.
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