Team USA’s FIBA World Cup training camp in July featured two pairs of NBA back-court teammates. The Wizards’ combo of John Wall and Bradley Beal was one. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Golden State Warriors’ starting guards, was the other duo.
Wall and Beal were two of the first three players cut after a week when the roster trimming began. Curry and Thompson made the final squad and helped the United States win the gold medal.
But Beal isn’t using Team USA’s decision-making as a barometer for where the Wizards back court ranks in the NBA.
“I think we’re definitely the best back court in the league,” Beal declared at his team’s Media Day at Verizon Center Monday. “Just in terms of what we’re capable of doing, the confidence that we have in that. At the same time we got to prove it.”
Beal and Wall have a case. They are the Wizards’ cornerstone players and led the team to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2004-05 last spring.
Wall, 24, enjoyed the breakout season many have been waiting for since he was drafted first over all in 2010, becoming an all-star for the first time and leading the NBA in total assists. Beal 21, averaged 17.1 points and shot 40.2 percent in 73 games in his second NBA season and is regarded as one of the sport’s up-and-coming stars.
Their emergence garnered the “House of Guards” nickname last spring, a play off the popular Netflix show “House of Cards.”
But there are a few other standout starting back courts, including Curry and Thompson (known as “The Splash Brothers”), the Clippers’ Chris Paul and J.J. Redick; the Suns’ Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic; and the Raptors’ Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.
Ultimately, the answer is subjective, but Beal thinks his back court is on top.