Playoff Bradley Beal Is the Real Deal
All season long the NBA world has been talking about the rise of John Wall.
We seem to have forgotten about Bradley Beal for a little while during the regular season. He wasn't playing particularly well, and he struggled with injuries. In fact, I was forced to list him as average when discussing NBA shooting guards earlier this year. (I swear, he left me no choice.)
In the playoffs, it's a different story. While Gortat stole the show in the last two games against the Raptors in round one, Mr. Beal reminded us why he deserves to be among the elite shooting guards in the league, especially come playoff time.
That's when Beal is at his best.
Don't believe me? I'll just let the numbers talk.
Check out Beal's career regular season and postseason numbers.
Beal's elite offensive play in the playoffs is easy to see. He really steps up his game when it counts, and he's done so with great consistency. His numbers from last year's playoffs to this year's playoffs aren't very different. Take a look.
Something this table doesn't show, however, is that Beal has actually averaged the same amount of points per 100 possessions (25.2). He's been very reliable in his short yet impressive playoff career.
You don't often see Bradley Beal's great defensive effort but it's ever-present in his 15 playoff matchups. Beal averages 1.6 steals and close to a block (0.7) per contest while posting a career playoff Defensive Rating of 102.
For perspective, in his first three years in the league, Beal allowed 106 points per 100 possessions in regular season games while averaging fewer steals (1.0) and blocks (0.3) as well. It seems like the playoff intensity brings out the best of Beal on the defensive end of the floor.
That was apparent from his series against Toronto. Beal stringed together Defensive Ratings of 92, 112, 102 and 98 against the likes of Kyle Lowry, Lou Williams, and DeMar DeRozan. His perimeter defense was a big part of Washington's defensive success.
As for Beal's true overall value, it's hard to figure that out from advanced stats. He's a volume shooter and scorer who shoots a lot of midrange shots. As a matter of fact, Beal has taken over 30% of his playoff attempts from between 16 feet and the three-point arc. He makes just 33% of those attempts.
But with that being said, Beal (on his career) has seen a slight jump in PER and a substantial jump in Win Shares per 48 Minutes when comparing his regular season performance to his postseason performance.
Going forward, whether the Wiz face the Hawks or Nets, look for more of the same from the "Real Deal" Bradley Beal.
Until he shows us anything different, he's a force to be reckoned with in the NBA playoffs.