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Daily Digits: Bradley Beal is back to logging big minutes

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NBA: Houston Rockets at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Daily Digits is a new daily feature we’re doing at Bullets Forever this year where we take a look at stats about the Wizards. We’ll dive into the numbers, add some context, and discuss how they affect the product on the court.

Today’s stat is Bradley Beal’s minutes-per-game average in November, which is...

36.6

Bradley Beal had the tenth-highest minute-per-game average in the league last season, and did it while playing all 82 games last season. As impressive as that was, Beal is currently on pace to log more minutes per game this month than he did in all but two of the months he played last season.

You can understand why Beal had a heavy workload last January and February. John Wall was injured for most of that stretch, which forced Beal to make up the difference. It’s harder to justify why his workload is up now considering Wall and the rest of the guards on the squad have been healthy all season long.

Sure, you can point out how Monday’s overtime win against the Rockets skews those numbers, but then you also have to factor in the three games this month where he failed to crack 30 minutes due to games getting out of hand or foul trouble.

Every coach goes through phases where they lean on their stars a little bit more than usual to get through tough times, but Washington’s slow start appears to have forced Scott Brooks’ hand sooner than he may have wanted to get things back on track, especially since the team has had to go small so often to make up for Dwight Howard’s absence.

There’s no question the Wizards are going to need a lot of Bradley Beal if they have any hope of getting back in the playoff race. That said, the team can’t lose sight that this is a marathon, not a sprint. If they charge too hard, too fast to make up for lost time, they’ll only lose more time in the end when they run out of gas.