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15 Nov

Upon Even Further Review: Still No Reason to Panic About Bradley Beal

No reason to panic about Bradley Beal. Getty Images

Some Wizards fans have been openly fretting about the rocky start to Bradley Beal's career. As one fan put it, Beal was purported to be a neuvo-Ray Allen with maybe a little Dwyane Wade mixed in. So far, Beal has missed a bunch of shots and has generally looked like a kid not quite ready to compete against grown men.

I've looked at this issue a couple times already this season -- here and here.  So now after 7 games should Wizards fans worry? No.

Here's a comparison of Beal's first 7 games with Ray Allen's (stats are per 36 minutes):

1st 7 Games Beal  Allen 
MPG 28.7  28.9 
PTS  14.5  17.1 
REB  3.9  3.7 
AST  2.3  1.8 
STL  1.3  1.8 
BLK  0.4  0.0 
TOV  2.0  2.1 
PF  2.3  3.2 
FGA  14.0  14.3 
3FA  5.9  4.3 
FTA  3.8  4.8 
2FG%  .311  .482 
3FG%  .333  .292
eFG .391 .469
FT%  .952  .778 

This comparison suggests remarkably similar players -- the only significant differences are caused by the same thing: Beal's low two-point field goal percentage. His poor conversion rate on two-point attempts has hampered his per-minute scoring and is the cause of his low effective field goal percentage.

But, here's how small the sample size is: the difference in two-point shooting amounts to one made two-point field goal per game.

In other words: it's still too early to worry about Beal. With the exception of two-point shooting, his first seven games have been about the same as Allen -- a player who entered the league two years older and with three years of major college basketball experience.


    Thank you for using this perspective; good stuff as always.

    Also of note, Beal and Allen had identical 54% 2FG% in their freshman years in the NCAA, both while taking an almost identical number of 2FG attempts per game, 6.6 & 6.7, respectively. Though nearly impossible to discern the location distribution of those 2FGAs, the point is that they exhibited similar shooting/finishing prowess inside the arc at a well-above-average rate for backcourt players. I think this points to a rebound from Beal on his 2FG%. Yes, he should focus on getting to the line a bit more, but the sample is small and the historical comps are no more telling than his college stats. Neither point to a need for any real worries.

    Good points about their 2pt shooting in college. That said, Allen is the best freshman SG I have in my draft analysis database. Difference between the two wasn't huge, but Allen was a little better at just about everything.

    THAT said, Beal was hardly a slouch in college. His score in YODA (Ye Olde Draft Analyzer) was comparable to other freshman SGs like Vince Carter, Clyde Drexler, and Michael Jordan. I thought then and still think he was the right pick at #3.

    Allen was great as a freshman, really a prolific scorer in surprisingly few minutes. I lazily used per-game numbers for 2FGA, but with Allen's significantly fewer minutes and better 3FG% and FT%, it is no surprise that he rates as historically good for a frosh.

    Back to Beal, I agree he was the guy at #3. He had a large role, scored efficiently (if not as often as one might like), while doing plenty of other things like rebounding and getting to the line to augment his production. One hopes drawing fouls will continue be a strength at the NBA level, as well as the shot selection/creation that usually comes with FTAs.

    Great post.

    Definitely no reason to throw in the towel on Beal right now. He is still adjusting to size/speed of the NBA, and certainly adjusting to playing on a team without much talent.

    His true measure, even keeping in mind that he is still a rookie, will be when John Wall returns to the court and he is getting better looks in a more polished offense.

    I think the real key return is Nene because he's the one guy on the roster who truly demands the defense's attention.

    Wall might help some, but I don't think he'll help Beal as much as Nene might.

    True, Nene will be a big part of his development. But I still think Wall returning, with his speed and ability to penetrate is certainly going to open up more/better looks for Beal.

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