Next up, an up-and-coming Washington Wizards team featuring one of the most exciting backcourts in the NBA..
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The young duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal have a ceiling together that is limitless. Wall is coming into his fourth season in the NBA, having just received a maximum 5-year, $80 Million contract extension at the, still tender, 22 years of age. Bradley Beal was one of the youngest players in the NBA last season and JUST turned 20 years old this past June.
On top of their fresh-faced backcourt, this season holds the promise to be one the team’s best since their playoffs days of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison after the addition of Otto Porter Jr., Martell Webster‘s development into a legit 3-point threat and Nene Hilario‘s improved health. With that in mind, here are five reasons to watch the Wizards this season.
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John Wall Attacking the Rim
As much as Wall has improved on his mid-range jump shot, we all know where his strength lies. He attacks the rim, and he uses the threat of said ability to setup his mid-range jumper or to set up his teammates.
As much as I love the skills of Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry, there are the other ways to the hoop. They both use the threat of a 3-pointer to set up drives, though I will admit Kyrie’s goes on these rampages where he seems to cross up entire teams at will. Wall can get to that level too â€” he just has to continue to improve his balance on his jumper, go straight up and release the ball at the apogee of his jump â€” but he’s so fast he can get to the bucket even when defenders give him room to rise up.
Wall is also one of the most physical man-to-man perimeter defenders. He’s able to pick off a pass or pickpocket an opposing point guard and take it coast-to-coast; it really is a thing of beauty and large reason Wall is one of the most exciting younger point guards in the game.
Bradley Beal’s Picturesque Jumper
One of the reasons why it’s so exciting to see Wall and Beal on the floor together is how well they complement each other’s game. While Wall is a slashing attacker, Beal is the smooth sharpshooter. His stroke is perfection, I don’t know how else to put it.
Beal was often compared to a young Ray Allen during the NBA drafting process, which wasn’t totally inaccurate. Allen shot 39.3 percent from 3-point range in his rookie season while Beal shot 38.6 percent. However, more so than efficiency, the comparison comes in the aesthetics and form of their shot: Allen had more lift, Beal is more fluid.
Comparisons to the greatest 3-point shooter in NBA history isn’t a bad way to start out a career. Here’s to hoping Beal can have a similarly long and productive career, as well as breaking out even more in his sophomore NBA season.