Wizards’ Bradley Beal becoming a ‘superstar’ in NBA playoffs


(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

On Monday night, the Washington Wizards showed that their first-round victory over the Chicago Bulls was no fluke. They handed the top-seeded Pacers a 102-96 loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the opening game of their Eastern Conference semifinal series and put the league on notice that Bradley Beal is the real deal.

The 20-year-old scored a game-high 25 points on 8-for-18 shooting from the field (3 for 5 from three-point range) and 6-for-9 shooting from the free throw line. Beal also registered seven assists and five steals.


Wizards’ Beal shot chart for Game 1, Round 2

“I’m just having fun on a great team,” Beal said after the victory. “Whenever we play together and play the right way, it motivates me to be the best player I can be.”

So far, he is putting in one of the best playoff performances for a 20-year-old in NBA history. According to John Hollinger’s Game Score, a rough measure of a player’s productivity for a single game, Beal already has three of the highest scores among the top 15 and two in the top 10, including the second-best overall:

Player Pos Date MP PTS TRB AST STL BLK GmSc
1 Derrick Rose G 4/18/2009 50 36 4 11 1 0 30.4
2 Bradley Beal G 5/5/2014 43 25 7 7 5 1 22.7
3 Stephon Marbury G 4/24/1997 35 28 4 4 1 0 22.1
4 Brandon Jennings G 4/17/2010 40 34 3 3 1 0 21.5
5 Harrison Barnes F 4/23/2013 34 24 6 2 1 0 21.2
6 Carmelo Anthony F 5/2/2005 46 28 7 5 0 0 20.3
7 Jrue Holiday G 4/16/2011 39 19 5 5 3 0 20.2
8 Brandon Jennings G 4/26/2010 34 23 4 6 1 0 20.0
9 Bradley Beal G 4/25/2014 39 25 4 5 0 1 19.4
10 James Harden G 4/22/2010 32 18 5 3 2 0 19.1
11 Kevin Garnett F 4/24/1997 40 21 9 4 1 1 19.1
12 Harrison Barnes F 4/30/2013 41 23 9 1 2 1 19.0
13 Bradley Beal G 4/22/2014 42 26 7 2 2 1 18.6
14 Kobe Bryant G 5/15/1999 47 24 6 8 3 2 18.5
15 Tony Parker G 5/15/2003 40 27 1 5 2 0 18.5
Source: Basketball-Reference

For the playoffs as a whole, he is No. 1:

“Bradley Beal’s a superstar in this league,” Pacers guard Paul George said after the defeat. “He’s on the rise.”

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.
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