The Wizards will only go as far as John Wall and Bradley Beal take them. There's just no other way around it.
The chemistry between Wall and Beal has been the dominant topic for years surrounding this team, and the magnifying glass will only be pushed closer this season, despite all of the other additions the Wizards made this offseason.
It's all about the backcourt.
Luckily, both Wizards All-Stars understand and embrace the pressure.
"We're opposites, but we're the same in a way," Beal told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller. "He's more loud and outspoken, I'm more chill and relaxed, but you put us together, it's peanut butter and jelly."
Have you noticed that peanut butter and jelly always seems to be the go-to "good combination" for people? At least Beal didn't say something weird like tuna and bananas, although to each his own if that's what you like.
Anyway, more importantly, Wall understands this sandwich dynamic just as much as Beal does. Especially when the topic of a championship comes up.
"I couldn't get it without him, and he couldn't do it without me," Wall said. "I think that's the bond we have built, and it's gotten so much better each year."
One of the biggest reasons for divorce that we see in pro sports is ego. So many players don't understand what Wall alluded to. No matter how good you are, you can't do it alone. You need your wingman.
There were certainly rumblings or worries that Wall and Beal had their issues chemistry-wise earlier in their careers, but we're seeing two young stars grow as each season passes.
That doesn't mean there still won't be times where they don't click. That's natural.
Keep in mind though, this is the seventh season the two will play together. The NBA is known to chew up and spit out young, inexperienced teams. The grind is part of the journey. Wall and Beal have had playoff success and failures, but they went through it together.
Now comes the time where those learning experiences become something they grow from, and use it to fuel a push to their ultimate goal – a championship.
And maybe a better peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
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