Today, John Wall should learn that he's an All-Star for the fourth year in a row, after finishing sixth among East guards though he's the only one to average a double-double this season. The status of Bradley Beal qualifying for the first time is much more murky.
But Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens didn't have much problem giving his thoughts on the Wizards' backcourt.
"He's really good," Stevens said after Beal scored 31 points on 18 shots in a 123-108 win over Boston on Tuesday. " I said it before the game, Wall and Bradley are both in discussion for All-Stars and they should be. Tremendous young players. They impact every game like that, not just this game.”
Wall had 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the same game. He has been the best player for the Wizards (25-20) all season, despite having to play his way into shape after surgeries to both knees May 5.
Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan were voted starters in the East, with Wall's primary competion for reserve spots in Kyle Lowry, Isaiah Thomas and Kemba Walker. None of them is close to averaging a double-double like Wall, the only guard in the conference to do so, or his 25 double-doubles.
Beal doesn't have as much competition at shooting guard outside of Dwyane Wade. He has had the best season behind DeRozan despite missing four games with different ailments, but there are no rules that stipulate what type of guard has to be selected.
The coaches' vote for the seven reserves in each conference closed Tuesday. Did they see what Wall and Beal do in dominating Thomas, who has a strong case in his own right, or did that even matter? Did most of them cast their votes before this latest run by the Wizards with 14 consecutive home victories?
If defense is incorporated at all into splitting the hairs for reserves, then Wall and Beal would be locks. None of the names mentioned is their peer on the defensive end but All-Star is more about popularity and respect than anything else. Why else did Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan get chosen so late in their careers?
Wall is putting up career numbers (23.1 points, 10.1 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 46.4% shooting) and Beal is getting better (21.9 points, 3.6 assists) as he was over 40% shooting from three until a recent 1-for-21 slump.
At the end of the season, being chosen to the All-NBA team is actually the more significant honor. If the Wizards can get into a top 4 seed after their 2-8 start to the season – they're only two games in the loss column behind the Toronto Raptors for the No. 2 seed – it's a safe bet that at least one and maybe even both will make it.
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