Bradley Beal’s first season in the NBA was filled with ups and downs, but the 19 year old rookie still managed to make the most of his turbulent season. Despite dealing with numerous ankle sprains and various other nagging injuries, Beal still made the All-Rookie first team.
With John Wall missing a large portion of games at the beginning of the season, Bradley Beal was forced to play outside of his comfort zone. Washington had no choice but to ask Bradley Beal to create shots not only for himself, but for the rest of his teammates. It was evident that Beal wasn’t the type of player who could easily assert himself into a lineup and become the go-to guy, especially right out of college. Beal struggled to shoot the ball, and Washington fans,including myself, were worried about his lack of confidence.
Fortunately, as time went on and John Wall returned to the Wizards lineup, Bradley Beal started to gain momentum and play like we all envisioned he would out of Florida. He started to shoot the ball with confidence, and in return, was named NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for January and December. His progression and development throughout the season was honestly a treat to watch. Beal went from a guy who couldn’t knock down a shot if his life depended on it, to one of the hottest shooting guards in the league. I attribute all of his success during the course of the season to his increased confidence. Without confidence, a scorer of Bradley Beal’s caliber is virtually useless. Once Beal started to knock down shots from the perimeter on a consistent basis, other aspects of his game started to emerge. Not only did Bradley Beal start to create off the dribble, but his defensive intensity increased. Confidence is key in for any young player, and Bradley Beal was the prime example of that this past season.
Optimism has never been so high for Washington Wizards fans. John Wall and Bradley Beal have all the tools become one of the best backcourts in the NBA. With John Wall’s ability to create for others, and Beal’s spectacular jump shot, Washington’s future has never looked brighter.
Health is another concern that I have for both players. Wall and Beal have to remain healthy if they want to have a legitimate impact in a guard dominated league.
If they can stay healthy and productive, I have no doubt that they’ll continue to impress and develop as their careers progress.