Wizards

Wizards

Voting for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game begins this afternoon and Wizards guard John Wall has a player in mind he would like to see get the nod, in addition to himself of course.

Wall believes teammate Bradley Beal should head to Los Angeles this February as a first-time All-Star.

"I think he should be a lock, in my opinion. He had a 50-something point game. He had 85 points in back-to-back games," Wall said on NBC Sports Washington's Wizards Tipoff podcast.

"It easily should put him as a lock. I think he should have been a lock last year. But he definitely should be a lock this year. He's doing everything to help our team win when I was out [injured]. Even when I was playing, he was still playing well and shooting the ball at a high clip for us. I think he should be."

Wall, 27, has made the All-Star team four times in his career and this past season made All-NBA for the first time. The only accolade Beal has earned so far through six NBA seasons is a spot on the All-Rookie team.

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This season Beal is averaging 23.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Wall thinks those numbers are worthy of recognition.

 

"He's always been a guy that can score, but now he's doing everything to help our team even more," Wall said. "Not even just his rebounding, him being able to pass and find guys and get his assists up, and also get steals and do the little things that matter; that should solidify him as an All-Star."

Wall sees an evolution in Beal that reminds him of his own path to becoming an All-Star. 

"Same way I had to expand [my game]," he said. "When a guy is just scoring, people are like, 'Ok he is just scoring and not doing other things.' Everyone was like KD [Kevin Durant] can't win MVP because he can't do other things but then he started rebounding, started adding assists and started blocking shots. That makes Brad more of a tough player. He is willing to except the double team. That [deserves] a lot of credit and means you are great player in this league."

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Wizards head coach Scott Brooks made sure to caution his endorsement of Beal as an All-Star with reminders that the team's success is more important. But he did say specifically that he thinks Beal should be going to L.A.

"We have two All-Stars in my mind," he said, referring to Beal and Wall. "I thought [Beal] played like one last year and obviously to me he's playing like one this year."

The All-Star Game will have a new format this season with the players receiving the most fan votes in each conference serving as captains and picking teams. There is no more East vs. West.

That, however, does not change the odds for Beal or any other Wizards players to make it. There will still be 12 players from each conference chosen.

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The guard position will be a crowded mix per usual with Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan and Wall among the headliners in the East. Ben Simmons will likely get plenty of votes. Victor Oladipo of the Pacers is also having a breakout season, one that Wall thinks has been worthy of an All-Star nod.

"I think he should be in there with Brad as a first [time] newcomer," Wall said. "Nobody expected the Pacers to be any good after they traded away Paul George."

Early All-Star voting on NBA.com and the NBA's app begins Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. Then, on Dec. 25 at 11 a.m., voting opens up on all channels including with social media hashtags. Fan voting ends on Jan. 15 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

To vote for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, click here.

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