Brooklyn Nets: Making an All-NBA case for D’Angelo Russell

Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets Bradley Beal. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

D’Angelo Russell vs. Bradley Beal

We’re at the point where it’s safe to say Bradley Beal is — regardless of John Wall’s health — the best player for the Washington Wizards.

Beal is having a career year for Washington, with career-highs in scoring, assists, rebounding, steals and blocks, while staying healthy and playing a career-high 37.6 minutes per game.

One could argue that Beal is the only reason the Wizards — whose playoff hopes are officially on life support after their loss Tuesday night to the Los Angeles Lakers combined with the Orlando Magic’s win over the Miami Heat — are as close to contention for the postseason as they are.

And with all of that, Washington’s tragic number is one — with their next loss or Orlando’s next victory, the Wizards will be officially knocked out.

A player doesn’t have to be on a playoff team to make an All-NBA list, but the last player to be voted in without a postseason berth was Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans at the undermanned center spot in 2016-17.

The last guard to earn an All-NBA nod from a team that missed the playoffs was Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2005-06.

So that doesn’t help Beal’s case at all.

Here are the head-to-head comparisons with D’Angelo Russell of the Brooklyn Nets:

Per Game Table
Bradley Beal 75 37.6 .476 7.4 .351 .542 5.6 .816 5.2 5.5 1.5 26.0
D’Angelo Russell 74 30.3 .433 7.8 .362 .509 2.5 .781 3.7 7.0 1.2 20.9

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/27/2019.

Advanced Table
Player G MP PER TS% 3PAr FTr AST% USG%
Bradley Beal 75 2823 20.8 .585 .375 .283 24.0 28.3
D’Angelo Russell 74 2241 19.3 .530 .418 .136 41.3 31.7

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/27/2019.

Beal has big advantages in scoring, but Russell leads in 3-point percentage and in the assist categories — no surprise since DLo is a point guard and Beal primarily plays off the ball.

If there is one candidate from a non-playoff team to break that long drought since Iverson’s All-NBA selection in 2005-06, it’s Beal. But the voters have shown for more than a decade now that they value winning when it comes to picking the best guards, in particular, in the NBA.