In theory, the slashing style of John Wall and the outside shooting of Bradley Beal should make them an exceptional backcourt. Except they’ve never clicked like one would expect. Injuries have certainly been a part of that, but Wall has admitted he and Beal don’t like each other on the court at times. Now with both Wall and Beal locked into long-term deals, how well those two play off each other will go a long way in determining how good these Wizards can be.
“Two things I noticed about both of them: They’re very competitive, and they care about their teammates. When you have those two qualities, you will never have problems with me as the coach and you’ll never have problems with your teammates,” Brooks said. “With that being said, they’re like brothers, and you’re going to have arguments. If you don’t have an argument as an NBA team, that’s odd.”
That’s been the spin for a while, “they’re just two alphas and of course they clash.” Brooks came from a team where two big stars — Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook — had their feuds based on ego. The difference is in Oklahoma City those two showed from the start they could win and win big together. Durant and Westbrook had their difference — and now really have their differences — but on the court, they had enough chemistry to make the Thunder a force.
Wall and Beal have shown none of that.
Brooks has tried to pump up the Wall/Beal pairing before, saying they could be the best two-way backcourt in the NBA if they were healthy and on the same page. (Not so sure about that, Klay Thompson is a good defender and Curry is solid on that end, but that’s another discussion.) Brooks was brought in to modernize the offense and get those two guards clicking, and he’s trying to build them up. We’ll see how that goes.
It just feels like this year’s version is the same old Wizards. Wall and Beal are the only ones who can change that.