Scott Brooks: Bradley Beal's become one of NBA's 'best two-way players'

Chris Lingebach
January 23, 2019 - 7:55 pm
Scott Brooks: Bradley Beal one of NBA's 'best two-way players'

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley Beal has stepped up in ways Scott Brooks couldn't imagine possible in John Wall's absence, the Wizards coach says, but most importantly, as a leader.

"Brad has stepped up," Brooks told The Junkies during his biweekly appearance, presented by Greenberg & Bederman. "But he has to step up."

Through 46 games, Beal is averaging career highs in points (24.7), assists (5.0), rebounds (5.0), steals (1.3), blocks (0.9) and minutes per game (37.1). And since John Wall went on the shelf the day after Christmas, Beal's only stepped up his game more, averaging 28.5 points, 5.4 rebounds  and six assists in his last 11 games.

Brooks doesn't want to hear that tired argument that the Wizards play better without Wall (although they are 7-4 in his absence), but he acknowledged Beal has turned up his scoring and distribution game.

"John was hurt basically all year and he's going to miss the rest of the year," said Brooks.

"Brad, he's doing all those things that you mentioned and he's defending," he said. "He's one of the best two-way players in the league and he wants to guard the team's best player and he's not backing down."

"He's leading us. He's leading us, and during timeouts and halftime, he's vocal," Brooks continued. "He's really grown up. In the last couple of years, he's really taken his game to another level. He's play-making better than I ever thought he could do. In one game, I think he had 15 assists, and that just shows his growth. And he's gonna get better – he's 25 years old."

If Beal keeps messing around, he might wind up on his first All-NBA team.

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