Bradley Beal’s Explosive Scoring Still Can’t Save the Wizards From Their Losing Ways

Bradley Beal is one of the NBA’s elite scorers. He can get a bucket at all three levels, making him a constant headache for opposing defenses. The Washington Wizards guard has had many games where he scorched teams with his scoring during his nine-year NBA career.

However, Beal’s explosive scoring nights don’t always bring success for Washington. That happened on Wednesday night, where he set a career-high in points in a losing effort. Bradley Beal’s high scoring games have a history of being wasted, as Washington doesn’t win when he explodes in the points column.

Bradley Beal drops 60 on the 76ers 

The Philadelphia 76ers fell victim to Bradley Beal’s elite scoring ability on Wednesday night. Beal came out the gates hot, dropping 32 points by halftime. Despite the great half, his team still trailed the Sixers by double digits going into the break. The break during halftime didn’t cool off Beal, as he continued to torch the Sixers in the third.

Beal scored 25 more points in the third quarter, helping the Wizards cut into Philly’s lead. He scored 57 through the first three quarters, which was historic. Those 57 points were one of the highest-scoring performances through three quarters in the past 25 seasons per ESPN. However, the Sixers didn’t allow Beal to have his way in the fourth quarter.

Beal scored three points in the final frame, ending the game with a career-high of 60. He also tied Gilbert Arenas for the Wizards’ single-game points record. His career night was all for not because the Sixers pulled out the win 141-136 thanks to a 38 point performance from Joel Embiid.

Washington can add Beal’s most recent scoring eruption to the long list of times he’s scored a bunch of points but with no victory. After the game, he voiced his frustrations about his high scoring outputs not amounting to wins. “I’m pissed off. I’m mad. I don’t count [them]. … Any of my career highs, they’ve been in losses. So I don’t give a damn,” said Beal per ESPN

The Wizards don’t win when Bradley Beal scores a lot of points.

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Washington Wizards fans might recognize a trend when it comes to Bradley Beal’s scoring. Whenever he has a great scoring night, the Wizards don’t end up with the win. History and stats back up this trend. Washington hasn’t had much success when Beal scores 40 or more points since he’s been there.

When Beal scores 40+, the Wizards are 4-13. Beal currently has a 1-3 record when he scores 50 or more points. He is one of five players in NBA history to have a losing record when he scores 50+ points. Including Wednesday night’s loss against Philly, Washington is 1-6 when Beal scores 45 or more. When Beal goes off, the Wizards fail to secure the W. 

Beal is more worried about wins than his scoring output, as he explained after his game Wednesday night. “I just want to win. Sometimes you might be able to score 40, 50, 60, whatever the case may be, but I just want to win, whatever that looks like,” Beal said.

When a team’s best player has scoring outbursts like Beal, they should win the game. Why that hasn’t happened for Beal up to this point is interesting. He has spent his whole career in Washington with no true success, which brings up the question of what his future is like in DC.

Is Bradley Beal’s career being wasted in Washington?

The Wizards have been a mediocre team the last decade. They have had some minor success but haven’t really made themselves one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams. Washington drafted Beal with the third overall pick in 2012, pairing him with John Wall. The backcourt duo had some early success, but injuries to Wall prevented them from reaching their true potential.

Since Beal was drafted, the Wizards have made the playoffs four times. They never made it out of the semifinal round in those four trips. Beal has been with the team through it all, but is his career being wasted? Washington has failed to put winning talent around him, outside of Wall, and acquiring Russell Westbrook this past offseason. 

Beal seems to be entering the prime of his career. Beal’s point production has increased by at least three points each of the last two seasons. Despite his increase in points, the Wizards finished both seasons under .500. This year, he leads the NBA in scoring with 34.3 points per game. It doesn’t look like Washington is on track for the playoffs, sitting in the thirteenth spot in the East at 2-6. 

The lack of wins when Bradley Beal goes off in the scoring column is an issue for Washington. Beals point eruptions shouldn’t be wasted, which points to the lack of defense (or talent) surrounding him. Beal’s patience is running thin, which could signal he might want out of DC in the near future.

All stats courtesy of ESPN