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Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Is this the year Bradley Beal becomes an All-Star?

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Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Is this the year Bradley Beal becomes an All-Star?

As part of CSN's preview for the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we preview Bradley Beal's season...

Player: Bradley Beal

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 24

2016-17 stats: 77 G, 34.9 mpg, 23.1 ppg, 3.5 apg, 3.1 rpg, 1.1 spg, 0.3 bpg, 48.2 FG%, 40.4 3P%, 82.5 FT%, 56.6 eFG%, 117 ORtg, 112 DRtg

2017-18 storyline: Last year represented a breakthrough for Beal for a variety of reasons. Not only did he have his best season from a statistical standpoint, scoring more points and more efficiently than ever, he set a new career mark for games played. Beal only missed five games after being absent for 27 games the year before and 19 games the year before that. For years the knock on Beal was that he couldn't stay healthy, but Beal proved to himself and everyone else that his body can hold up and allow him to play the game the way he knows he can.

It would be understandable if an extra level of confidence comes from that. Beal has a full, healthy season under his belt where he put up numbers worthy of an All-Star nod. Now knowing he can stay healthy, perhaps Beal can be even more aggressive on both ends of the floor. We saw some of that last year with Beal attacking the rim like he hadn't before. Expect his growth in being able to get to the rack to continue.

Beal made significant strides last season with his ball-handling, which helped him get to the rim and, in turn, the free throw line more often. Another offseason of working on his handle could help Beal (4.4 FTA/g) get on John Wall's level (6.8 FTA/g) of drawing fouls. It would also continue to open up the floor for his three-point shot. 

Beal's development as a ball-handler is something head coach Scott Brooks is very excited about. Last season he used Beal sparingly as a point guard, granted sometimes out of necessity. This year, expect Brooks to deploy Beal more often in pick-and-rolls and as the floor general with Wall off the floor. Beal is becoming more and more versatile on both ends of the floor and it will only make the Wizards even harder to deal with.

If Beal has a year similar to 2016-17, he should be in good shape to make the All-Star team. His numbers were good enough last season and now several superstar wing players have left for the Western Conference.

Potential to improve: Ball-handling, passing, drawing fouls.



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Otto Porter could miss Wizards' game vs. Cavs due to hip injury

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Otto Porter could miss Wizards' game vs. Cavs due to hip injury

The Wizards could be without one of their best players when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, as small forward Otto Porter continues to receive treatment for a right hip contusion.

Porter played just three minutes in the Wizards' win over the Clippers on Friday night before exiting with the injury. Head coach Scott Brooks said it happened when Porter took an elbow to his side.

Porter has dealt with right hip issues dating back to his rookie season, including a hip flexor and a torn labrum.


The Wizards consider Porter doubtful for the Cavs game, but do not believe his injury to be serious and haven't ruled him out yet.

"Otto, he recovers," Brooks said. "When he gets hit, he's a tough guy and he recovers, so we'll see how he feels."

Losing Porter, 24, would be tough for a game against Cleveland. Porter could be used to help slow LeBron James, who had 57 points against the Wizards in their first meeting this season.

The Wizards know they are unlikely to stop LeBron, but Porter could help limit him. Without Porter, more responsibility will be on Kelly Oubre, Jr., Markieff Morris and others.

"Hopefully he can play because we're going to need him," Brooks said. "We're going to need bodies around him and being down one body isn't going to help. But it's no excuses."

Porter is averaging 14.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals this season. If he can't go, Oubre will likely start in his place at small forward.


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Best moments from the Wizards' win over the Clippers, including some big dunks

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Best moments from the Wizards' win over the Clippers, including some big dunks

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 100-91 win over the Clippers on Friday night...

1. This game got started much like the previous one did, on Wednesday when the Wizards and Grizzlies couldn't buy a bucket. But the offense got going sooner than later and for the Wizards that breakout came with back-to-back threes.

Mike Scott hit the first one and Bradley Beal quickly followed up with the second one:

2. Beal ended up with 20 points and 11 rebounds. His best play of the night was this stepback jumper over Sam Dekker that had the Wizards' bench going nuts. Keep an eye on John Wall's hopping celebration:


3. Scott kept it going and finished with a team-high 22 points. Scott has had an impressive season and this may have been his best play so far.

Scott got open on fastbreak and threw down his best dunk of the year:

4. Wall had a modest night of 15 points and five assists as he continues to work within a minutes restriction. But he did get in some nice highlights including this block:

5. The Clippers made it interesting by tying it up several times in the fourth quarter, but the Wizards pulled away in the final five minutes, including this four-point play by Kelly Oubre, Jr., who ended up with eight points and seven rebounds: