Wednesday Wizards Report
When your favorite NBA team is 18-37 and hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2007-2008 season, one would think that there is no hope for that particular team. Well in the Washington Wizards situation, that is not the case. Most Wiz fans had playoffs on their minds before the season opened, but injuries derailed that train. Now with all of the Wizards’ key pieces active and a 13-9 record to boot when healthy, next season can’t come soon enough for us Wizards fans (that is if Ted finally fires Ernie and Randy). But over the last two weeks a very interesting topic has come up amongst the Wizards circles. That topic is who the face of the Wizards franchise is: former #1 overall pick John Wall or rookie sensation and #3 overall pick Bradley Beal?
Mr. Beal has been shouldering the scoring load for the last few games, and since the All Star break he has averaged 20.8 points a game. Beal is doing more than just scoring though, as he is averaging 6.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists a game since the break as well. To go along with those stellar numbers, the Wizards are 3-1 during that span with wins over two playoff teams and a surging Raptors team. This team is playing very well and now the Wizards head into games expecting to WIN, not just compete. It’s easy to get caught up in the Beal-mania and overlook the rest of the team, but John Wall has also been very instrumental to the team’s success.
Before Wall returned, the Wizards were a dismal 5-28. Since his return, the Wiz are 13-9. You can’t dispute those numbers that Wall is helping this team win games. Yes Nene was out for a majority of the time Wall was out too, but after watching 99.9% of Washington’s games this year, it’s easy to see that this team is MUCH better when Wall is at the helm controlling things. Sure he still has a shaky jump shot that no one respects and he does have his turnover issues some games, but the record doesn’t lie. This team wouldn’t be 13-9 in their last 24 games if AJ Price was running the show. Plus without Wall in the lineup, Beal was averaging 13 PPG. With Wall, Beal is averaging 15.2 PPG. John is one of the best penetrators in the game, so when you are a deadly shooter like Beal is, the buckets come much easier when you have a dynamic point guard running the offense.
But the question still stands, who is the face of the Wizard’s franchise? Is it the budding 19 year-old Beal who looks to be a future 20 point scorer with a silky smooth jumper who can also rebound, pass, and play solid defense? Or is it the 22 year-old Wall who can get up and down the court faster than almost anybody in the league, can get you 12 assists any given night, and has the potential to be one of the best PG defenders in the game?
It’s a tough question and one that Wizard’s fans haven’t had to answer in a long time. Finally Washington basketball has two young dynamic guards that will hopefully be leading this franchise for the next 10+ years. The fan base in the nation’s capital has a legitimate reason to be excited again for basketball and for right now we all should just leave it at that and enjoy watching the growth of these two. We have two budding stars that are exciting to watch, so why do we need to proclaim one is going to better than the other or that one is more important to the team’s success? We have two players that have the potential to be future All-Stars for years to come and as we all know, every Batman needs a Robin in the NBA. So let’s just be happy we have two young men that are doing their best super-hero impressions to save basketball in DC, and in the years to come we can decide who is Batman and who is Robin.
Even though our boy Crawford is gone, style with ease is just too awesome. Until next week Stay Steezy my friends, and enjoy this whopping we are going to put on the Pistons tonight.