Wizards news: Scott Brooks believes Bradley Beal is an All-NBA player
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Scott Brooks believes Bradley Beal is an All-NBA player

Bradley Beal, Wizards

Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal has taken his game to the next level this season without John Wall by his side for much of the campaign. While Beal’s fellow All-Star backcourt mate is on the shelf with a ruptured Achilles tendon, head coach Scott Brooks believes that Beal has turned himself into an All-NBA performer, via ESPN.

“The way he’s playing, the way he’s improved, the way he’s led, my very biased opinion he’s All-NBA the way he’s playing. He’s doing things that that level of player does night in and night out.”

Since Wall last took the court for Washington on Dec. 26, Beal has averaged 28.9 points per game, including four 40-plus-point efforts. Prior to Wall’s departure for the year, Beal was averaging 23.5 PPG, a strong season indeed, but he has elevated his game to another level in an attempt to keep the Wizards in the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference.

Despite Beal’s best efforts, the Wizards remain on the outside looking in. Entering play Sunday, they sit at 30-40 on the year, but are still just three games behind the Miami Heat for the No. 8 seed. If they’re able to chase down the Heat, it likely will be due to the play of Beal, who has gone for at least 40 points in back-to-back games.

As for being named All-NBA, that’s an even more dubious honor to receive. First-team honors will be hard to crack with the Houston Rockets’ James Harden averaging 36.1 points per game and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook averaging a triple-double, again. That won’t diminish the year that Beal has had, as he’ll be in the conversation for second- and third-team All-NBA honors.