Wizards: Beal’s early numbers

It’s only been two games but I wanted to take an early look at Bradley Beal’s numbers.

There’s this terrible perception that after an NBA player gets a big deal, you see drop off. It’s the fat-and-happy stereotype which seems unfair more often than not.

In Beal’s case there are several factors working. He’s finally playing with a healthy Kristaps Porzingis. You should quite a bit on screen actions involving Beal and Porzingis.

Those actions are more than just screen-and-roll. Screen-and-Pops and off ball screens are just as important because he can lead to opponents having to pick their poison on what they want to give up.

After two games, you’re already seeing the impact. Now, you have to take the opponent into account. The Indiana Pacers are in a pseudo-rebuild and their roster could continue to change. Chicago was without Lonzo Ball and Zach Lavine.

With that being said it’s the NBA. You don’t have to apologize for wins no matter who is or who isn’t on the floor. Washington’s 2-0 start, even if both games were highly winnable, doesn’t take away from the positives we’ve seen.

If you look at Beal’s early shooting numbers, it’s what you want to see. His EFG (Effective Field Goal) is 62.9%. The statistic takes into account that threes are worth more than twos. Just to give you some context, Beal’s best EFG season was 2016-17 when his percentage was 56.6%.

The same can be said for his TS (True Shooting) percentage. After two games it’s at a very respectable 65%.

There are 80 games left so you can only do so much with these numbers but part of the reason why the numbers are important early on is because of the “others”.

If there has been a reason for Beal’s struggles at time, it was because of everything he was asked to do for the team. Uneven rosters have plagued Beal since Wall’s departure. To put it kindly, he was asked to play with subpar talent night-in, night-out.

The stat that could be troubling is his turnover ratio. It’s already at 14.8% which would be a career worst. This is troubling because the Wizards have ball-handlers that should take the ball out of Beal’s hands for an extended period of time in a possession. In a perfect world, Beal would have the ball in his hand less because he would receive it in positions of effectiveness through the Wizards’ actions.

Beal can’t be in positions where he’s asked to takes 5-6 dribbles to try to facilitate and shoot. That’s where Porzingis’ presence and too a lesser extent Kyle Kuzma’s presence should help him. With more threats on the floor, Beal should in a position to dictate to the defense a lot more which should mean more efficient uses of his dribble.

The New York Knicks are looking to do similar things with Julius Randle who, after a career year, spiraled into inefficient basketball on steroids.

Beal’s Usage Rate is at a low through the first two games which might not be a bad thing. It it continues at this pace throughout the season and the Wizards are winning, it’s a reflection of the impact of GM Tommy Sheppard’s personnel changes.

Beal’s numbers will be a topic of discussion all season win or lose but the numbers should be looked at from an efficiency point of view.

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