The only reason the Washington Wizards are not 0-11 right now is Bradley Beal. If he were on a decent team, not even a title contender, Beal would be the no-brainer favorite for MVP right now. His numbers are insane.
Wizards’ guard leads the league in scoring with 34.9 points, in front of Steph Curry, who averages 28.6 points per game. Beal recorded 34, 41, 60, 27, and 31 points in the last five games. His true shooting percentage is ridiculously high (60.8%) considering the number of duties he has in Scott Brooks’ team. He’s nearly registering shooting splits of 50-40-90, despite a couple of off-shooting nights at the start of the season.
Not only is he leading the league in scoring, but he’s also carrying the Wizards. Before the Phoenix game, the Wizards offensive rating without Beal on the floor was 100.0 (30th in the league), but with him is 116.1 (2nd in the league). Beal is playing at a level that’s only been done two times before in half a century.
With his hot hand, Beal is now drawing more attention than ever. And he’s smart about it; he’s consistent with his movement, plays, and doesn’t waste energy more than needed. For example, in the latest Wizards’ win against the Phoenix Suns, he got two fouls in back-to-back plays in the same way – using the screens from his teammates and then drawing the defender’s contact who was late to block him. Frustrating for the opponent but very useful for the Wizards. And most of the time, Beal is making the right plays. Of course, he sometimes forces his shot with his hot streak, but usually, Beal will kick the ball out to open guys. However, the Wizards will have to profit more from Beal getting a couple of defenders on him.
The elephant in the room is Russell Westbrook. For now, the Rockets won the Wall-Westbrook trade by a mile. If Westbrook doesn’t pick up his game and the Wizards don’t start racking up wins, a trade demand from Beal is in their future. He is playing on an MVP level, and it still isn’t enough for the Wizards to be in contention for the play-in tournament!