Washington Wizards Midseason Report Card: Bradley Beal and learning where to shoot

USA TODAY Sports

How has Bradley Beal played in the first half of the Wizards' season, and what does he need to do to improve in the second half of the season?

It's not technically midseason, but with this being the all-star break, we could think of no better time than to issue midseason report cards. In this edition, the Wizards' most pun-able player: Bradley Beal.

STATS: 13.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 39.3 FG%, 36.5 3PT%, 12.5 PER, 49.6 TS%, 10.4 TO%, 22.1 USG%.

The Good

After a rough start to the season, Bradley Beal's play has improved dramatically since the start of the new year. Even with his lingering wrist injury, Beal has been on a tear. In 2013, Beal is averaging 16.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per 36 minutes with an effective field goal percentage of 54 percent. Only three players in the NBA have met that criteria this season: Tony Parker, Kevin Durant and LeBron James.

The Bad

As hot as Bradley Beal has been since the start of 2013, his struggles to begin the year can't be ignored. Certainly, some of that can be blamed on getting adjusted to the NBA game but there are still some issues with his game that are being somewhat glossed over because of his blistering outside shooting. Primarily, he's still taking too many inefficient long twos. According to HoopData, Beal is 63-189 (33.3 percent) on long twos, and 68-185 (36.8 percent) on threes this season. So not only has he taken more long twos than threes this season, he's shooting them at a lower rate. The other issue that Beal could use some work on is his shooting at the rim. For the year, he's shooting below-average rates at the rim, and from 3-9 feet, and through the recent good times and his early struggles, those percentages have remained fairly consistent.

Expectations for the Second Half

It will be difficult for Beal to keep up the shooting percentages he's put up since the start of January. At some point after the break, there will inevitably be a slump that regresses him back to the mean. That said, there's still plenty of room for him to improve with his shot selection to make him more effective, even when he's struggling and he's already shown he can do more than just shoot when he's on the floor. The key to his success after the All-Star break will be improving on his interior scoring, and making where he shoots his outside shots more effective.

How would you rate Beal's season on a scale of 1-10, and what would you like to see from him in the second half of the season?

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