After struggling with injuries during his rookie season, Bradley Beal used his second year to justify the great expectations surrounding him as the Washington Wizards’ cornerstone piece along with John Wall in the backcourt.
Here are three notable numbers from his breakout year:
Players in NBA history to have three 25-plus-point games before turning 21 — Beal and Magic Johnson. Beal, who will turn 21 on June 28, made his mark during his postseason debut, leading the Wizards in scoring while showing a confidence in his ability to excel despite his youth and among the elevated intensity of the playoffs. There aren’t many 20-year-olds in the league to begin with, and outside of New Orleans All-Star forward Anthony Davis, it’s safe to say there aren’t any players that 21 or under as promising as Beal.
Games played together by Beal and John Wall through two seasons. After injuries kept them from being on the floor at the same time for much of the 2012-13 season, Beal and Wall made their mark this past year in 84 regular-season and playoff appearances — so much so that some are calling them the NBA’s best young guard tandem, just ahead of Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. With the Wizards’ turnaround from 29 wins to Eastern Conference semifinalists over two seasons, it’s clear that Beal and Wall are a duo around which the team can build.
Average points off of pull-up shots scored by Beal in the playoffs. This number is a marked improvement upon his regular-season average of 5.5 points on 35.9 percent shooting on pull-up attempts. Not only does this demonstrate Beal’s uncanny poise but it also shows his improving ability to create off the dribble and in pick-and-roll situations. The better Beal becomes at handling the ball, getting in the lane and scoring on floaters, the more dangerous he will be, as defenders will have to pick their poison against the young sharpshooter with a picture-perfect release.