In those minutes, the Wizards outscored their opponents by less than one point per 100 possessions. They played teams even.
That’s not good enough.
Whoever takes over as the Wizards’ coach next season is going to need more out of Beal and Wall if the Wizards are going to have the breakout season everyone expected of the team this season. Beal admitted as much, as reported by J. Michael at CSNMidAtlantic.com.
“It’s been a rocky year in terms of injuries, offense changing, getting used to playing with new guys on the team and adjusting to a few things,” said Beal, who appeared in a career-low 55 games in his fourth season, before the Wizards’ final game of the season that ended 41-41. “We both should’ve had a better year than we had. We should’ve carried the team a little better than what we did. We both can attest to it….
“As far as us two together it wasn’t anything unusual. There was no beef or anything like that,” Beal, who is a restricted free agent this summer, said of his relationship with Wall. “We just didn’t play as well as we were supposed to. I think sometimes we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and we tried to overdo it especially if one’s not playing and the other one is. There’s a lot of things that factor into it. Overall, it’s no excuse. We both should’ve had a better year than we had.”
The issue is not their personal relationship, Wall added.
“I think we’re in a great place. We do a lot of talking, a lot of communication,” Wall said. “If he didn’t get hurt he was on pace to probably be an All-Star also. We would’ve been a better team. You take just about any team that has a main backcourt and you take Klay Thompson away from Steph for about 30 games it would be different.”
If the Wizards are going to be any threat in the East, they need what Toronto got this season from Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan in Toronto — they both stepped their games up this season, and when they were paired on the court the Raptors outscored opponents by 4.1 points per 100 possessions. They were the second best backcourt in the NBA.
Wall and Beal also dominated that Raptors’ backcourt in the playoffs last season. They are capable of it.
Wall and Beal just need to stay healthy and be on the court together, defend a little better, and have a system around them that lets them lead the Wizards back to the playoffs. Then we will see if they can take that step forward.