During an interview on ESPN's "WYD? with Ros Gold-Onwude," Wizards point guard John Wall was asked where he felt the duo of him and Bradley Beal would rank among the best backcourts in basketball come the 2020-21 season, as both will miss the 2019-20 season restart recovering from injuries.
For Wall, there was no need to use any words to show where he felt he and Beal would be. Rather, he just lifted up one finger to represent the No. 1 spot. For Wall, there's no doubt that the two, when fully healthy, are a force to be reckoned with.
“I’m always going to say that, cause I know, like, the way I was playing before I got injured, it was at a high level," Wall said. "I’m coming back at that level, even better. And that level Brad is at now, it’s going to be scary.”
WYD? w/ @JohnWall 🖥🗣🖥— Ros Gold-Onwude (@ROSGO21) July 16, 2020
-John shares practice footage showcasing his speed
-talks @WashWizards motivation in the @NBA Bubble w/o Wall, Beal, Bertans
-says he & @RealDealBeal23 can be top guard duo in the league 2021 @espnnba
➡️ Full convo: https://t.co/BQ4LCzK0Y3 pic.twitter.com/ODN9zw25ax
As Wall mentioned, he's confident that he'll be a new and improved player after missing the entire 2020 season while recovering from an Achilles injury. The point guard mentioned in the interview that his speed is already at "110" as he continues to push his body more. Considering Wall is a five-time All-Star, has earned All-NBA honors and is considered one of the best at his position, his belief that he'll be better than ever bodes well for Washington.
However, Wall is only one part of the backcourt. Beal will also need to be at the top of his game in order for the duo to claim their spot at the top of the league, but that's something Wall isn't worried about.
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After watching Beal essentially put the team on his back at times during the 2019-20 season, and seeing him continually grow as a player since he entering the league, Wall is chomping at the bit for the chance to once again share the court with Beal.
“That was our leader, this whole season, the season he was having was an All-Star season, All-NBA season," Wall said. “Just the way he’s developed his game over the last couple of year has been amazing to me. That’s something I can't wait to get back to, being his backcourt mate and playing with him.”
Wall's praise for Beal didn't stop there. When it comes to naming the best teammate he's ever had in the pros, it was an easy answer. Wall isn't just inspired by the shooting guard's work on the court, but the way Beal carries himself outside of the basketball world has left a mark on Wall.
“The best pro teammate I had, I would say Bradley Beal, because every day he motivates and pushes me to want to be better," Wall said. "Just be more intelligent and smarter with things I do off the court.”
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In addition to their chemistry and skill helping them succeed, Wall feels that the current landscape of the NBA makes it possible for him and Beal to find success. The game continues to shift to a guard-heavy, fluid style of play where scorers are expected to create their own opportunities. For the two, that's not a problem.
“Just look at how the NBA, it is a lot more spacing now," Wall said. "It’s a lot of switching one-through-five. It’s a lot of just if you can score, go score.”
All those factors have Wall believing that 2020 will be a special year for him and Beal. With both expected to be fully healthy and together for the first time in over a year, the Wizards will once again have one of the best backcourts in basketball.
Yet, while having some personal success is always great for the two, the focus remains on winning as a team and returning to the postseason.
“I mean I’m going to come back stronger, Brad is going to come back stronger and our ultimate goal is to get ourselves back to the playoffs," Wall said. "That’s all we have on the radar.”
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