Top
Close
Follow Us ON

© 2017 Broom on the Warpath

Advertise Here Flag

Now Is It Time To Start Worrying About Beal?

 

I've written three times already this season (herehere and here) about the performance of Wizards rookie Bradley Beal. Both times, I recommended suspending judgement on him -- waiting to start the hand-wringing that's inevitable when a high draft pick doesn't play well. And, let's be real for a sec: Beal is not playing well.

Before I answer the question in the headline, let's look at some data. In the table below are Beal's key stats per 36 minutes compared to "Mystery" players with a similar profile -- rookie guards 20 years old or younger. (Beal, of course, is just 19 years old).

STAT  Beal 
GMS 15 15  15 15  15  15  15  15  10  15  15 
MPG  27.0 25.6  25.5  19.7  18.9  18.3 17.7 14.6 17.5 10.2 9.6 
PPA  53 119  60  124  50  97  52  -9  155  48 
USG 20.0 19.8  27.5 20.4  19.5  24.0  16.6  17.2  17.4  24.3  20.4
ORTG  94 110  95  111  97  115  102  76  122  96  102 
EFG  .408 .449  .323  .473  .456  .472  .351  .338  .408  .517  .356 
2FG% .358 .417  .344  .393  .536  .500  .385  .348  .367  .344  .394 
3FG%  .323 .359  .269  .380  .174  .188  .000  .211  .375  .481  .167 
FT% .857 .571  .836  .875  .609  .609  .563  .571  .893  .727  .920 
REB  4.3 6.5 4.5 5.0 3.9 6.4 6.1 3.1 6.4  4.7  5.3 
AST  2.4 3.8  5.3  5.1  6.5  2.9  5.8  5.3  6.6  1.6  4.0 
STL 1.0 1.8 2.3 1.9 2.9 1.3 2.3 1.3 2.9 0.2 1.3
BLK  0.7 0.6  0.5  0.7  0.1  0.5  0.1  1.0  0.2  1.2  0.5 
TOV  2.2 1.6 3.6  2.1  4.1  1.8  3.0  3.1  2.5  4.9  2.8 
PTS  14.6 14.3  17.0  16.2  10.9  19.2  7.9  7.9  11.5  18.1  13.8 
                       

PPA is Player Production Average, which is what I've decided to name my summary statistical rating system. 100 = average; higher is better; 60 = replacement level.

Most of the categories are what they'd seem to be. The category stats are presented per 36 minutes. Usg = possessions used per 48 minutes. Ortg = points produced per 100 individual possessions. EFG = effective field goal percentage (which accounts for the value of the 3pt shot). 2FG% = 2pt field goal percentage. 

I apologize for the numbers soup, but it's in service to a point. Through the first 15 games of their respective careers, Beal has been more productive than some; less productive than others.

Take a look at Player B -- worse shooting from everywhere (including 2pt range), more free throws, assists and steals, but also more turnovers; comparable rebounds and blocks. Who is Player B -- a guy who couldn't buy a bucket from any range in his first 15 games? Russell Westbrook.

Or, how about Player I? Horrible 2pt%, awful turnover rate, comparable rebounding to Beal. Obviously a bust, right? Player I: Kobe Bryant.

Look at Player J. He could barely get on the floor and when he did, he missed shots from 2pt and 3pt range. He rebounded and assisted better than Beal, but his overall production rated a shade worse. No future, right? Wrong. Player J is Gilbert Arenas.

The worst player in the table has to be G. Bad shooting from everywhere, including the FT line. Not much rebounding, but plenty of turnovers and okay assist stats. Surely this guy was out of the league in 2-3 years tops. Except, he's still going strong more than a decade later. Player G is Jamal Crawford.

When comparing Beal to the full list of teen rookie guards, he looks...well...like a teenage rookie guard. Beal is about average for a teen rookie guard in nearly every respect except for 2pt shooting. It's not something anyone likes, but it's reality: teenage rookie guards struggle at first. It would've been nice if Beal could have been an exception, but the odds were not in favor of that happening. 

The NBA has seen 82 teenage rookie guards. Through the first 15 games of their careers, 15 rated average or better using PPA. That's about 18% -- fewer than 1 in 5.

Just 29 rated above replacement level through their first 15 games -- 35%.

Expecting Beal to be even solid right out of the gate was unrealistic. In other words, it's still not time to worry about Beal's future in the NBA.

Here's the key so you'll be able to match the mystery players to their letter.

  • A = Jason Richardson
  • B = Russell Westbrook
  • C = James Harden
  • D = Baron Davis
  • E = Larry Hughes
  • F = Rajon Rondo
  • G = Jamal Crawford
  • H = Kyle Lowry
  • I = Kobe Bryant
  • J = Gilbert Arenas

Load