Prior to this year’s Wizards season tipping off, I had an article in the que titled “This is Bradley Beal’s Team until John Wall Returns.” I was even going to do a whole Batman/Robin bit too (since Beal has proclaimed his love for Batman) on how Beal could be the Batman on this team for now.
Three games into the season, we are still waiting for the big game(s) many expected out of Washington’s third overall draft pick.
Beal is currently carrying averages of 8.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, while shooting a terrible 28.6% from the floor (50% from three point range though). He has not looked aggressive on offense, and has not been as active on the boards as many people have expected.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those people who are questioning the pick or questioning his abilities, or one of the message board crazies who are already labeling him a bust. The kid is just that, a kid. He is a 19 year old playing in his first NBA games and has to adjust to speed and size of the league. He has to adjust to new coaching, new schemes, and new teammates. He has to adjust to below average point guard play. He also has to adjust to some questionable rotations so far from his coach.
Brad is going to have to work through these adjustments, and it can only help if he is given the proper playing time to get comfortable. After averaging a little over 21 minutes per game after the first two contests, he was given over 38 minutes in Wednesday’s overtime loss to the Celtics. You could see some confidence growing and Beal was able to put up a stat line more like what Wizards fans are expecting from him — 16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block and 3 three pointers.
The growing pains are to be expected, especially without a solid point guard running the show.
But while patience and understanding is necessary, we as Wizards fans would still like to see a breakout game from Beal that assures us those expectations are warranted. A 25 point, 8 rebound, 5 assist performance in one of these next few games before John Wall gets back would surely do the trick to calm the nerves of the Wizards faithful.
So while Beal isn’t ready to be Batman just yet, let’s at least hope he will be ready to play Robin by time John Wall gets back.