Bradley Beal has been named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for January, which isn't that shocking considering that he won the same award in December, when he averaged 13.4 points on 37 percent shooting (and only 18 percent on three-pointers), and then followed it up with 15.1 points on 45 percent shooting (51 percent from three) in January.
What makes that even more impressive is that Beal played nearly half of the month's games after injuring his wrist in a road win against the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 18, and he hasn't been the same player since. Beal injury finally forced him to sit out the last couple games, and he told the Washington Post's Michael Lee that he won't rush back to the court until his wrist is fully-healed.
"I'm not going to rush back. Going to take my time and wait until it heals," Beal said. "It's always because the type of kid I am, it takes a lot for me not to play. If I'm hurt or not. But I have to be smart now. But if I want to have a long career and just finish the season out strong, I have to take care of my body more than anything. It's real tough, but I'm still cheering my teammates on."
"It hurts like heck," Beal said. "Whenever I feel as though I'm going to be back to being 100 percent, I'll definitely give it a shot. The doctor basically told me, it's going to be sore, but I could barely move my wrist after I seen the doc. But the past few days I've been taking meds to help calm down all of the swelling and stiffness in my wrist and I'm really just staying on top of it, exercising and doing everything to maintain my body, but it's just something I have to let heal on its own."
Beal's shooting numbers in January puts him in some pretty good company - as Ben Standig of CSN Washington pointed out, he's the first rookie since Stephen Curry to make half of his three-pointers in the same month. He also ranked fourth in the entire league in three-point shooting last month, and led all rookies.
"It just shows me that I've been playing well and I'm just trying to stay consistent. I can't let this injury bother me," Beal told Lee of winning the award. "I just have to keep it going. Just staying confident and my teammates giving me that faith and confidence as well as coach, to be able to make plays and just be aggressive."
Though it's kept him sidelined during games, Beal's injury hasn't prevented him from showing off his shooting prowess...with his left hand. Apparently, while teaching her son the pure shooting stroke that helped get him drafted No. 3-overall in last year's NBA draft, Besta Beal also got him to develop a left-handed shot. During warmups before last night's loss to the Grizzlies, Beal was spotted on the court sinking left-handed free throws and step-back jumpers.
"I actually bet a few guys," Beal said. "I'm going to see if they're going to be pay me, but I definitely won a few bets."