The Washington Wizards aren’t known for nailing every single draft pick, but when Bradley Beal’s name got called by David Stern during the 2012 NBA Draft, we immediately knew it was the right decision. Without John Wall in the backcourt, Bradley Beal was forced to take on a greater role than he originally expected, but the former Florida Gator would eventually overcome the shaky start to show the league why the Wizards chose him with their third overall pick. Beal averaged 14 points during his rookie season, but the marksman lived up to the sharpshooting bill by shooting nearly 39% from beyond the three point arc. Now that he has a season of NBA basketball under his belt, Beal is ready to show the league that he’s ready to elevate his game to the next level;
This year, hopefully, is going to be a year where I can be able to showcase my talents a lot more. I’m a lot more confident and feel more comfortable with the team and everything that I do now,” Beal said. He added that the greatest different between where he was last year and is now: “I’m not shell-shocked. I feel like I’ve played for the team like 10 years already.
Beal dealt with numerous nagging injuries throughout the course of the regular season, but his rookie season came to a screeching halt when a stress injury in his right fibula shutdown the remainder of his first year. Now that Beal had a whole summer to recuperate, he’s been able to work on a number of things that needed some fine tuning heading into his second season. Even though Bradley Beal has always been a very capable shooter from the perimeter, he struggled to create offense for himself with John Wall off the floor. His ball handling, or lack thereof, hindered his ability to shoot off the dribble or score in isolation situations. The Wizards coaching staff had time to work “hands on” with Bradley Beal this summer, emphasizing the need for Beal to take some of the offensive load off John Wall.
Bradley Beal has reportedly looked terrific during training camp, and some of the holes in his game have been covered, making him a much more effective player than in the previous season. Wizards head coach, Randy Wittman, tends to avoid specifics when talking about certain players, but he went out of his way to mention Bradley Beal’s development this offseason. Hopefully his hard work will translate to the regular season, because Beal is certainly looking to have a breakout year.
There usually isn’t much to be excited about in Washington Wizards land, but Bradley Beal’s continued improvement is surely something to be optimistic about.