The Washington Wizards continue to drop games in which Bradley Beal drops 40 or more points. Has any team with such a prolific scorer been this bad before?
The Washington Wizards just dropped a game in overtime to the Milwaukee Bucks despite a 55-point effort from their last star standing Bradley Beal. That’s almost the most mind-blowing sentence I have ever read.
The point of the game is to score points, so you would think that when your best player scores an insane amount of points that means your team pretty much always wins. However, while your logic is somewhat sound you are incorrect.
There are actually a lot of reasons that someone might score a ton of points and your team still loses, and more on that in the coming slides, but it’s not at all a rarity in the NBA. Even from its very inception.
The Washington Wizards are 1-8 this season when Bradley Beal scores 40 or more points, so that got me wondering how many other teams in the history of the game had a below .500 percent record when their star went off on a scoring tear, and what I found really shocked me.
Some of the players on this list are absolutely the backbone of the NBA. They’re the best players to ever play the game, and they happened to land on this list, so that should tell you something about how complicated our seemingly simple sport really is.
Some of those same names had other seasons where their team managed to win more than half their games when they scored 40 or more points too, so that complicates things even further. Being on this list isn’t necessarily the greatest thing, but it isn’t an indictment of the player by any means. Sometimes games are just unwinnable because the matchup is so one-sided.
To their credit, these following NBA greats racked up a TON of losses when they scored 40 or more points for their respective teams but always managed to pull out more wins than losses every season they had multiple 40+ point outbursts: Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson (not in the playoffs), Russell Westbrook (also not in the playoffs), Tiny Archibald, George Gervin, Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, and Jerry West.
Some of those guys are just straight up scorers and put up 40 or more points on the regular, so it wasn’t no thing to them to win or lose said game. It was just the normal course of basketball.
Also as a note: Trae Young‘s Atlanta Hawks this season have gone 5-5 when he put up 40 and I was tempted to include him, but ultimately he didn’t fit the bill (yet). They went 0-1 last season in his sole 40+ point performance, interestingly enough.
Also left off this list is Ricky Davis on the 2002-03 Cleveland Cavaliers. A truly sub par team, Davis only put up 40+ in three games, so it was too small a sample size to include him, but I was surely tempted.
So where does Beal and the 2019-20 Washington Wizards squad fit into this whole mess of teams unable to capitalize on the scoring outburst of their players? Here are the twelve guys throughout the history of the NBA that have had such bad luck (or sub par rosters).