All-Star weekend has come and gone, and many fans are saying that it was one of the best events that they can remember. The three point contest came down to the wire, we saw perhaps the most entertaining and competitive All-Star game in recent history, and despite the controversial ending witnessed a very good dunk contest. I for one was very impressed with the entire series of events, but I couldn’t help but think of one thing the entire time.
Poor Bradley Beal.
Beal’s 28.8 points per game at the time the All-Star reserves were selected is the highest scoring average in NBA history for someone not selected the All-Star game. To make matters worse, fellow snub Devin Booker became an injury replacement for Damian Lillard in the West. The argument that even a player of Beal’s caliber shouldn’t be an All-Star because they are on a bad team is countered by Trae Young being an All-Star starter while being on a team with a worse record than Beal’s Wizards.
I don’t want to dwell on the All-Star selections and why Beal should or shouldn’t have been selected. I want to focus on what happens next.
The All-Star reserves were announced on January 30th, and Beal dropped 34 points on the Hornets to take the win after finding out he wasn’t selected. Since then, the Wizards have gone 4-2 leading up to the break. While their only significant win was against the Dallas Mavericks, that is a much higher winning clip than they have enjoyed so far this season. They are now 20-33 and only 3 games out of the playoffs.
In those 6 games, Beal averaged 32 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists. Through the month of February, the Wizards are top ten in steals, blocks, and point differential, with one of the lowest turnover rates in the league. This is an incredibly small sample size against the bottom tier teams in the league, but Washington is looking like they can make a surge in the East for a playoff spot behind this kind of play.
Beal is currently averaging 29.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game for the season. He is currently in the top 5 in scoring, and the extra motivation could propel him even higher. While an unlikely candidate to knock off the top seeds in the Eastern Conference, watch for the Wizards to make a playoff push after this All-Star break.
Featured Image: Todd Kirkland/Associated Press
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