For Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards, they didn’t expect to be finished with their season at this stage, but 2017-18 provided a lot of good moments despite their first-round playoff loss to the top-seeded Toronto Raptors.
Back in February, Brad played in his first career All-Star Game in Los Angeles and also competed in the three-point contest. BB played for Team LeBron in the new pick-up game format, alongside some of the game’s greats.
“These are some of the best players to ever touch a basketball,” Beal said after the All-Star Game, “so to be a part of the group was an honor in itself and I enjoyed it.”
It was an honor that was expected to come eventually, but his selection may have been overdue. Nonetheless, The Panda appreciated the recognition and he hopes to be attending many more All-Star Weekends in the coming years.
“It motivates me to get better and continue to be part of this every single year for the rest of my career,” Beal said.
On the season, Brad averaged 22.6 points per game to go along with 4.5 assists and 4.4 rebounds per contest. He set a new career high in scoring back in December against the Portland Trail Blazers, dropping 51 points on the eventual No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.
Along with his increased usage, especially when John Wall was sidelined, No. 3 displayed a great deal of durability this season, playing all 82 games for the first time in his career. BB was one of eight players to start every single game this year, and he logged the fourth most minutes in the league.
Despite losing in the first round, Brad had himself a great season and the team grew as well. With Wall missing extended time with nagging injuries, other teammates were given increased opportunities to play crucial minutes. While it didn’t translate to wins this year, the experiences this year should help the team be better prepared for future seasons.
Tomas Satoransky and Kelly Oubre Jr. both saw their roles increase this season and proved they could be key contributors for the Wizards moving forward. Otto Porter Jr. appeared to take a big step forward before being hampered by injury in the Raptors series.
“It was a down year but there were a lot of good things, a lot of lessons we learned, a lot of positives we can take out of it as well, and we just got to get better in the summer,” Beal said.
The young core of the Wizards will remain intact and will likely be healthier next season. This season may not have ended the way they envisioned, but they now have a full offseason to regroup and prepare themselves for a better 2018-19 campaign.