For the third time this season, Beal went off for more than 40 points on Wednesday. Specifically, he scored 47 points on 17 of 37 shooting with six assists, four rebounds, four steals and only three turnovers. It was a stellar game, from the NBA’s top scorer this season.
The Wizards still lost by 18 points to the 6-10 New Orleans Pelicans.
That might sound familiar if you’ve been following the Wizards over the last year, as it appears no amount of scoring from Beal is enough to steal a win. Three different times in the last year, Beal has recorded a career-high in points only for his team to lose, the most recent being when he scored a franchise-record 60 points in a loss.
In fact, the Wizards have now lost 10 straight games in which Beal has scored 40 or more points, breaking a decades-old record held by Hall of Famer Walt Bellamy of the 1961-62 Chicago Packers.
Per @EliasSports: Bradley Beal has now lost 10 consecutive games where he’s scored 40 or more points.
That’s now the longest such streak in NBA history, stretching back to last season.
Beal was tied at 9 games with Walt Bellamy.
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) January 28, 2021
Here is what that stat looks like in screengrab form:
All told, Beal is now averaging 36.8 points per game in Wizards losses and 30.7 in wins. Overall, he is averaging an NBA-best 35.4 points per game for the 3-11 Wizards.
It was in that context in which his wife, Kamiah Adams-Beal, tweeted this:
Beal himself didn’t sound very enthused after the game either:
Bradley Beal when asked if he is frustrated: “Is the sky blue?”
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) January 28, 2021
Before you start photoshopping Beal into the uniform of your favorite team, be aware that Beal may have been speaking about the Wizards’ recent injury/COVID-19 situation and alluded to his desire to stay in the city minutes earlier.
The Wizards are in a bad place
In the Wizards’ defense, this loss was at least understandable despite Beal posting 47 points. Exhibit A: This injury/illness report.
For those of you scoring at home, that group includes the Wizards’ starting point guard, starting small forward, starting power forward, starting center and a sizable chunk of the team’s rotation off the bench. All of those players were unavailable due to the lingering effects of a COVID-19 outbreak, injury or, in Russell Westbrook’s case, rest. The two-week layoff due to said outbreak probably didn’t help the players on the court either.
That kind of personnel loss is how a player like Beal posts a season-high 37 field-goal attempts.
Beal hasn’t exactly been perfect in losses even when scoring in bunches, though. His points per game in losses is higher, but his rebounds per game, assists per game, turnovers per game, on-court offensive rating, on-court defensive rating and true shooting percentage all comparatively suffer, while his usage rating soars. Essentially, the Wizards seem to turn to Beal repeatedly when things aren’t working elsewhere, which is often.
The possibility of a Beal trade has loomed large over the last few years, and the Wizards haven’t done much to change it, even as Beal plays some of the best basketball in his life and insists he wants to win in D.C.
Wednesday will only spark a new round of speculation.
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