We are now at the halfway point of the NBA season (41 games). The Wizards have had their ups and downs so far, but are still just behind pace from last season despite 23 games missed between John Wall, Markieff Morris and Otto Porter Jr. We expect to see the team continue to trend upward as we enter into the second half with more consistency in the lineup.
One thing that has been consistent all year has been the play of Bradley Beal, who has established himself as a true All-Star. It was widely acknowledged that he should have been selected last season to join John in New Orleans. But true to Bradley’s nature, he came back this year with an expanded overall game to leave no doubts that he should be on his way to Los Angeles for this year’s festivities.
• He was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week (12/25-12/31) after averaging 26.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists while shooting .467 from the field in four games
• He currently ranks fourth among Eastern Conference guards in points per game at 23.6
• He is averaging career highs in points (23.6), rebounds (4.4) and assists (3.6) per game and is one of two players currently averaging 20+ points while averaging career highs in all three categories (Devin Booker)
• He is one of five players (James, Harden, DeRozan, Williams) to record a 50-point game this season, with a career-high 51( at POR 12/5)
• He leads the Wizards with 30 20+ point games, tied for second-most among Eastern Conference guards (Kyrie Irving, 31 and DeMar DeRozan, 30)
• He is tied for the second-most 35+ point games in the Eastern Conference (five games, trailing only DeRozan’s six) and tied with James Harden for the longest streak of 35-point games this season (three straight from 11/1-11/5)
• He joined Russell Westbrook as the only other player this season to record a game with at least 39 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists (vs. CHI 12/31)
• He became the youngest player in NBA history to record 700 threes at 24 years, 145 days (at MIL 11/20)
Those stats, while impressive, don’t tell the whole story of how Bradley has been able to impact the team. His leadership skills have improved, his defensive intensity has been evident and he continues to be a difference-maker in the community. But with all the added (and well-deserved) attention, he remains humble and prefers to let his play speak for itself (
We envisioned Bradley as an All-Star when we drafted and later made a long-term commitment to him. He has grown into that role before our eyes and now will be able to join John as a perennial selection. It will be fun to watch both of them on the court in LA, either as teammates or possibly on opposite sides with the NBA’s new All-Star format. Fan voting closes on Monday, so be sure to vote for Bradley and John on Twitter, Facebook, Google, through the NBA app, using Amazon Alexa, and online by using #NBAVote @RealDealBeal23 and #NBAVote @JohnWall. Following the announcement of the starters on Jan. 18, the coaches will vote for the reserves in each conference (which will be announced on Jan. 23). Let’s all take pride as #DCFamily represents our city and franchise on one of the NBA’s biggest stages.