Statistically, Washington Wizards rookie guard Bradley Beal had a rough first few months in his first NBA season. But if he continues playing the way he has been in the month of January, the future looks bright for the young former Florida Gators star.
Beal averaged 11.2 points on 34.1 percent shooting (32.7 percent from downtown) with 3.3 rebounds in the month of November. He improved incrementally to 13.4 points, 36.8 percent shooting from the field and 3.3 rebounds in December but also shot a paltry 18.4 percent from beyond the arc in 12 games.
In the first month of 2013, Beal is not only putting up greatly improved stats – 18.2 points on 42.0 percent shooting (56.0 percent from three) with 4.0 rebounds – but also coming up clutch for Washington at the end of games.
On Jan 4. at home against Brooklyn, Beal put together one of the two best games of his young career. He scored a career-high 24 points, notched a career-high three steals and hit a game-tying buzzer-beating trey at the end of the first overtime. (He also made the highlight reel with a poster dunk over MarShon Brooks in the fourth quarter.)
Just three nights later at home against Oklahoma City on Jan. 7, Beal did it again. He filled up the stat sheet with 22 points (on 5-of-7 shooting from downtown), five boards and four assists but more importantly drained the first game-winner of his career on a midrange jumper with 0:00.3 left on the clock.
If the light is truly starting to come on for Beal, and now would be the right time, there is plenty of season left for him to make a case for Rookie of the Year.