It didn’t take long for Bradley Beal to establish he had a rare mix of skills for a shooting guard. Typically with shooting guards, you get guys who either make their living by firing away from deep, or by slashing to the lane with reckless abandon. Beal is one of the rare players with enough talent to do both.
Having that rare combination can be a blessing and a curse. It isn’t always as easy as it sounds to find the right balance between when to attack and when to linger around the perimeter and wait for an open shot.
Over the past few games, Beal has started to finally find harmony in his game. In his first game back after hurting his hamstring, he scored 18 points on 11 shots against the Knicks. He followed that up on Saturday by going for 34 against the Heat. On Saturday, he took it to a new level, scoring a career-high 42 points against the Suns.
Beal was hot from deep against the Suns, making five of his ten attempts from beyond the arc, but he didn’t camp out around the perimeter. He also went 7-12 inside the arc and made 9 of his 11 free throw attempts.
It’s been a long road, but Beal finally put together the shot chart every Wizards fan has been dreaming of since the team drafted him with the number 3 overall pick in 2012.
Nights like this won’t be the norm moving forward (let’s not forget the Suns aren’t exactly known for their stellar defense) but if nothing else, they serve as proof that Beal is getting a lot closer to finding the right balance to his game. And as any great scorer can attest, balance is everything.