Bradley Beal: Wizards 'Still Haven't Done a Damn Thing' Amid 5-Game Win Streak

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2021

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) dribbles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal downplayed the team's five-game winning streak following Monday's 127-124 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to Fred Katz of The Athletic, Beal said: "Different. It feels different. It feels different in a great way. ... At the same time, we still haven't done a damn thing."

By virtue of their winning streak, the Wizards have climbed out of the Eastern Conference basement and now sit in 13th place with an 11-17 record.

While Washington's record doesn't seem overly impressive, the fact that only five teams in the Eastern Conference are above .500 means the Wizards are now firmly in the playoff race.

At 11-17, they are now just two games back of the eighth-place Chicago Bulls, which seemed like a longshot before the winning streak began.

Beal has essentially carried the Wiz all season long, and that was the case again Monday, as he led all scorers with 33 points, while adding seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

The 27-year-old Beal, who was named an All-Star for the third time in his career this season, leads the NBA in scoring with 32.9 points per game and is averaging 5.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.5 three-pointers made and 1.4 steals.

Beal's numbers were empty for much of the season with the Wizards losing, and it led to trade speculation ramping up.

Katz and Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Feb. 2, however, that neither Beal nor the Wizards had any interest in a trade. They added that teams with interest in Beal don't expect him to become available until the offseason at the earliest.

With the Wizards now winning and entering the playoff race, they now have even less incentive to part ways with their best player.

Beal is essentially automatic to put up big numbers every night, but the Wizards also received an encouraging performance from Russell Westbrook on Monday. He burned the Lakers for 32 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists in one of his best games of the season thus far.

The Wizards are nowhere near the level they likely expected to reach when they acquired Westbrook, but they are finally starting to play to their potential and could ultimately be a playoff team.