1) Bradley Beal HAS Improved Over the Summer
Prior to the start of preseason, there was lots of talk about whether or not Bradley Beal will iron out some of the kinks in his game, and from what I’ve seen so far, it looks like Beal has made some serious improvements over the summer.
Last season, especially without John Wall, Beal was forced to create a lot of the offense for Washington and his inability to shoot off the dribble was exposed. His ball handling had remained suspect, since often times he settled for jump shots and just couldn’t create shoot opportunities in isolation situations. After being sidelined for months due to a stress injury, similar to the one which kept John Wall out nearly half the season, Beal was able to recover and work on some of the major weaknesses in his game.
Beal has averaged about 14 points per game in Washington’s first two preseason games, but more importantly, he’s looked very comfortable doing things we’ve seen him struggle with in the past. Instead of settling for tough threes, Beal’s ball handling has improved tenfold and we’ve seen him take advantage of it. He’s taken more shots off the dribble in these two preseason games than I’ve seen for a large portion of this past regular season. If he continues to knock down shots while creating the offense for himself, it’ll take a big chunk of the offensive load off John Wall, ultimately making the Wizards a better team on that side of the floor.
I was skeptical at first about seeing massive improvements, especially since it rarely happens, but we are seeing Bradley Beal 2.0 this season. Let’s just hope it translates once the regular season begins.