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The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

Everybody Eats: Bradley Beal Has Taken the Next Step

Here is the full list of NBA players to have multiple 40-10-15 games in a single season: Oscar Robertson and Bradley Beal. That’s it. Beal’s heroic 43-10-15 performance against the NBA leading Toronto Raptors put Beal in this rarefied air the likes of triple-double-kings Russell Westbrook and James Harden have yet to reach.

For most of this season, the Wizards have been a total mess. Almost everything that could’ve gone wrong has gone wrong as the Wizards started off slow, succumbed to internal drama and then got hit by the injury bug.

When it was announced on Dec. 29 that Wall was going to need season-ending surgery on his heel, the Wizards season looked dead. Almost everyone was ready to declare the Wizards a tanking team.

But Bradley Beal won’t let that happen. In the following games as the No. 1 option, it looks as if Beal has taken the next step into superstardom. Don’t believe me? Check out his numbers.

Since Dec. 1, Beal is averaging 28 PPG, 5.9 APG, 5.7 RPG, and 1.7 steals per game. Not convinced yet? In the eight games since Wall’s surgery, Beal is putting up nearly 30 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 6.6 APG. In those eight games, the Wizards are 5-3 with wins over the Thunder, 76ers, and Milwaukee Bucks. Beal has injected energy into this team that we haven’t seen in years.

Last year the debate was whether or not Beal is an All-Star, and this year, that debate should shift over to All-NBA status. To be in All-NBA consideration, Beal has to be one of the six best guards in the league, and he has absolutely done so thus far. Let’s list them out: Harden, Curry, and Westbrook can be considered locks, and Kyrie isn’t far behind. I’d say Beal is the fifth-best guard in the league today, maybe tied with Damian Lillard.

It’s not a stretch to declare that Beal is having a better season than Jimmy Buckets, Kemba Walker, and Kyle Lowry. Even with his sensational play this season; Beal is still tenth in the east all-star game voting amongst guards. Dwyane Wade, Jeremy Lin, and Zach LaVine are among some of the guards with more votes than Beal. Sooner rather than later, the league (and NBA Twitter) needs to understand Beal’s star power.

Bradley Beal #AllStarVote

-Sean Hannegan & Michael Gorman

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