The Washington Wizards need Bradley Beal to be a big time player if they’re going to move from problematic matchup to contender in the East. John Wall, Nene, Marcin Gortat and last year’s surprise Otto Porter give Washington a change to win every night, but for the Wizards to reach the elite level Beal has to perform at an All-Star level. He’s going to get his chances.
The Wizards hope Beal is right in his assessment of his own performance against one of the NBA’s truly elite franchises, the San Antonio Spurs. Bradley hit a 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds remaining to break a tie and give the Wizards a 102-99 victory. But the game-winning shot wasn’t the story. The bigger story is Beal’s all-around game. The 22-year-old guard said as much afterward, admitting “it’s just me coming into my own, I guess.” Beal was 11-for-22 from the floor, for 25 points along with four assists and three steals. Beal is averaging 25.3 ppg so far this season for the 3-1 Wizards.