There has been a noticeable growth in Brad Beal criticism this season from Wizards fans, which is expected to be honest. He's a year older, he's carrying more responsibility, the rookie honeymoon phase is over, and its clear that he is a big key to the future success of this franchise (remember this point). After being drafted 3rd overall in 2012, Beal had a very good rookie year earning all rookie team honors and establishing himself as one of the better deep shooters in the league. This season Beal's responsibilities have increased and his numbers are up across the board. More devoted fans of the game would point to a dip in his shooting percentages, but even that hasn't really fallen this year, and he's shooting even better from 3 this year (another important tidbit). So whats the fuss?
My theory is that for a segment of fans, criticizing Beal is a way to preserve John Wall's status on the team. Last season when Wall was still very erratic it was Beal's calming influence that first established him as a fan favorite. Since then Beal's faults have been magnified on Wizard's message boards to the point that every bad game there is a thread about trading him. Imagine that for a second. The one thing that causes the most commotion on this board is if you point out that Beal is having a better sophomore campaign than even Wall had. People have short memories. In fact if you Google "John Wall bust" you will see what the entire basketball world had to say about John in 2012.
Despite the occasional flashes of greatness and improved numbers, Wall’s play has fallen short of expectations. As such, legitimate questions have started to arise about his viability as the centerpiece of a winning franchise.
But Wall also didn’t take a step forward last year — if anything, his jump shot regressed. He averaged 4.4 long two pointers (16 feet out to the arc) last season and shot 29 percent on them. He shot 7.1 percent from three and only took one every other game. Even with his quickness Wall can be defended in the half court.
30. John Wall
As you know, I’m the longtime chairman of the "Is He a Point Guard or Not?" committee. (It’s kind of like how Tip O’Neill was the Speaker of the House for all those years — you never knew how it happened, just that it was.) My verdict on Wall: He’s a breathtaking athlete who has little to no idea how to run a team, lead his guys, make teammates better, ride hot hands, control the tempo of a game or do anything else that, say, Chris Paul does on a nightly basis
If you Google "Brad Beal bust" the first hit you get is at the bottom of the page, and it links to this site. Its all relative I understand, but the pointing this out isn't to slight Wall but to remind everyone that development isn't linear (again). Instead of thanking the basketball gods that we have one of the best young backcourts in the league, people are wondering if Beal should be traded or if he's hit some sort of ceiling. Everyone else has Beal on that imaginary list of players that you check off "nothing to worry about here" except his own "ultras" fans. Its the strangest thing to me and it really should stop. If you live in Charlotte or Oakland or even Houston I can see tearing down Beal, but living in DC? Of course it was wrong with Wall and it was another reminder that if a player has an elite skill that can be consistent and replicated even after increased usage and responsibility (remember that 3 point shooting?) then you stfu and watch that player develop. Its going to be wrong with Beal too.