Pierce: Beal is 'better off' without Wall, more than a shooter originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
ESPN’s The Jump is notorious for its shows within the show. On Tuesday, they debuted “The Beal World: DC” and, of course, kicked things off with the age-old question: is Bradley Beal better or worse off without John Wall in D.C?
According to former Celtics forward and 10-time NBA All-Star Paul Pierce, you just need to look at the numbers to find the answer.
“I think he’s better off, because he’s developed and morphed into this player that he’s become, one of the game’s great scorers,” Pierce, who spent one season with the Wizards, said. “You can see the growth in the game, the way he’s developed into an All-Star, into a premier 2-guard, arguably the best 2-guard in this league.”
In the 150 games that Beal played without Wall over the last four seasons, Beal’s points and assists per game were higher. But since Wall’s trade to the Houston Rockets, the Wizards have struggled and so has the player who swapped jerseys with him, Russell Westbrook.
Despite that, Beal has found a new level of consistency, leading the league in scoring with 33.1 points per game and often times leading the Wizards effort on the defensive end. Still, as Zach Lowe and Rachel Nichols pointed out, an 8-17 record is enough to make you question whether or not the trade was worth the increase in Beal’s productivity.
But Pierce suggested that the Wizards had topped out with Wall on the team and this change, though off to a difficult start, is starting to look like it was the best thing for Beal and the organization.
“Because John Wall’s not there, the ball is in his hands and he can develop and be more of a playmaker, more than just a shooter, as we looked at him as all these years,” Pierce said, adding that Beal now looks like he can do everything on the court.
“As you can see with the stats, he’s developed into quite a player I would say.”