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Wizards Beal Is Playing Like An All-Star

 

In keeping with this status as the NBA's third youngest player, Wizards rookie Bradley Beal struggled to find his way in the league. But, he never seemed to lose faith in his own ability, and instead has improved markedly at a time when other rookies are hitting The Wall. At this point, there should be little doubt in anyone's mind about his future. The Wizards have a legitimate franchise building block in Beal.

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you're likely familiar with my overall rating stat, Player Production Average (PPA for short). PPA, in essence, credits players for things they do that contribute to winning and debits them for things that don't. PPA is a per minute stat that accounts for defense, is adjusted for pace, and includes a "degree of difficulty" factor based on the level of competition a player faces during his minutes on the floor. In PPA, 100 = average, higher is better, and replacement level if 45.

Got all that? There'll be a quiz later.

Here's a quick table showing Beal's PPA month-by-month this season, as well as some pace-adjusted, per 40-minute stats:

MONTH  GMS  MPG  PTS REB  AST  USG  ORTG  PPA 
 Oct/Nov 14  27.8  16.0  4.8  2.5  21.2%  91  47 
 December 12  32.6  16.5  4.8  4.2  21.6%  96  60 
 January 15  32.9  18.0 3.3  3.0  19.2%  108  111 
 February 32.7  21.0 5.9  3.0  21.9%  117  161 
                 

The February sample size is a little small. His PPA for January and February combined is 127. For perspective, here are some players with full season ratings in PPA that are about the same as Beal's month-by-month splits (minimum 500 minutes played):

47 -- Chris Singleton, Thomas Robinson, Andrea Bargnani, Daniel Gibson, Lance Thomas, Alec Burks

60 -- Lamar Odom, Ben Gordon, Markieff Morris, Ronny Turiaf, Dion Waiters, Hasheem Thabeet

111 -- Matt Barnes, Luol Deng, Louis Williams, Martell Webster, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Martin, OJ Mayo

127 -- LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Pierce, Steve Nash, DeMarcus Cousins

161 -- Russell Westbrook, Kenneth Faried, Anthony Davis, Al Horford, Chris Bosh, David West, Paul Millsap

That 161 in February would rank 18th in the league if it was accomplished over the full season. In other words, over the past six games, he's been playing like an All-Star. Not too shabby for the third youngest player in the league.

Here's the weekly PPA update:

PLAYER GMS  MPG  LW  PPA 
Emeka Okafor 54  25.4  145  145 
Nene 41  27.0  133 120 
Martell Webster 53  28.1  109 111 
Trevor Ariza 37  25.0  103 107 
A.J. Price 39  22.7  95 89 
Trevor Booker 22  17.5  73 88 
Bradley Beal 47  31.3  76 88 
Jordan Crawford 43  26.2  83 83 
John Wall 21  29.4  95 82 
Shelvin Mack 20.1  68 68 
Cartier Martin 23  17.6  62 62 
Garrett Temple 24  18.3  51 51 
Chris Singleton 39  16.2  47 48 
Shaun Livingston 17  18.8  36 36 
Kevin Seraphin 52  22.8  20 18 
Jan Vesely 34  12.3  13 13 
Earl Barron 11  11.1  10 10 
Jannero Pargo 14.6  -56 -56 
         

Positives include Beal (see above), consistent play from Okafor, Webster and Ariza, and improved play from Booker.

Negatives include Wall's performance dip, and the fact that the Wizards continue to get next to nothing from Singleton, Seraphin, and Vesely.  

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