John Wall and Bradley Beal have a combined age of just 43 years old, but their play this season shows that they are more than just a couple of young bucks; they are one of the premier guard combinations that exists in the NBA today.
First of all, Wall is having the best year of his career so far for the Washington Wizards. This 23-year-old is a blur on the court and is 18th in the league in scoring, averaging 19.8 points.
One might say that Wall isn’t a monster scorer but don’t get it twisted. Wall can get to the hole at will and his improving three-point shot as well as a silky mid-range just adds to his already impressive arsenal.
Don’t forget that Wall can get it done on defense also. His 2.02 steals per game is good for fourth in NBA and proves that he is one of the best pick-pockets in the game.
Last but not least is his playmaking ability. Wall is third in the league in assists at 8.4 helpers per contest and his blazing speed opens the floor right up for his teammates.
The other half of this exciting duo is Beal. Just ask the Memphis Grizzlies, who were pitted against the Wizards last night. The Grizzlies would most likely agree that Beal is a problem for defenders! Although the Wizards came up short in a 92-89 loss, Beal set a career-high in points with 37, while shooting 15-24 from the field.
Games like yesterday show how much potential that Beal has at 20 years old. A lot of people don’t know that Beal is currently eighth in the NBA in three-point percentage at 43.1%. He is a pretty good defender and he averages 17.0 points. His averages of 1.0 steals, 3.3 assists, and 3.8 rebounds are nothing to write home about but they are pretty solid numbers. This guy has promise and has a special ability to put the ball in the hole.
Wall and Beal receive praise here and there but honestly, they don’t receive enough of it. These two guys are going to attempt to make some noise during All-Star Weekend and will probably boost their popularity with fans in the process. Wall was just named to his first All-Star team and will also participate in the 2014 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. On the other hand, Beal is participating in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge and the Foot-Locker Three-Point Contest.
Wall and Beal continue to make tremendous improvements as players and their consistent play over the course of this year is definitely laudable. When measuring these two young and talented players with other guard combinations, it is hard to find many duos in the NBA that match up with Beal and Wall, especially talent wise.
There are a couple of guard combinations that are a little bit more polished such as Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford for the Clippers or Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for the Warriors. The emergence of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry in Toronto is undoubtedly something special and two guys out in Portland by the names of Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews deserve major kudos. However, the guard combo with the most potential or in other words, the highest ceiling is Wall and Beal.
Just look at the pieces of the puzzle. Wall is a big point guard at 6-foot-4 inches and Beal is a 6-foot-5 inch shooting guard. They possess physicality at such young ages. Being physically gifted definitely helps but at times, Wall is too turnover-prone and Beal can fade away for a couple of games. Nonetheless, they still find a way to have great numbers. Once they get everything rolling at one time, Wall and Beal could help the Wizards turn into an Eastern Conference powerhouse in the future. These two youngsters have time but for right now, they are making the best of it by just having fun and building their reputation as one of the deadliest guard duos in the NBA.