All the Comparisons of Bradley Beal (and What the Knicks Said About Him) | Truth About It.net

All the Comparisons of Bradley Beal (and What the Knicks Said About Him)

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Updated: March 3, 2013

“[Bradley Beal] is very talented. … He can play without the ball, he can put alot of pressure on the defense and he can shoot it. He is the future of the NBA.” —Jason Kidd.

Who is Bradley Beal?

-by K. Weidie

To me, Bradley Beal is the nextBradley Beal. But, in what’s becoming an age-old adage, comparisons to other players are fun, necessary, and completely irreverent.

Beal, who has now played an official 50 games as an NBA rookie, has most often been compared to one or more of the following: Eric Gordon, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen. So, a statistical dive and comparison into the rookie progress of each player is the path we shall go down. We will first look at some advanced stats for the first 20 games of each player’s rookie year, then we will compare the same advanced stats for games 21 through 50 of each player’s rookie year.

First, from ESPN.com’s David Thorpe in his “Best of 19″ NBA Rookie Watch published on Feb. 7 (Insider):

I never understood the Ray Allen comparisons, other than they each have sweet-looking strokes. Beal is more like a less-quick version of Eric Gordon, but a better shooter. That alone makes him good enough for third on this list.

As the NBA has evolved on defense — flooding ball-side action and making teams make the extra pass to the opposite side — great perimeter shooting has become more valuable than ever. Take a look at the top six 3-point-shooting teams by percentage: Golden State, New York, Oklahoma City, Atlanta, Miami and San Antonio. All six are playoff teams, including the top two seeds in each conference.

Beal has the game to be a strong starter for a contender, and he is capable of being a career 40-plus-percent shooter from deep. As a gifted ball-mover and a willing defender, he’s going to be in consideration for future All-Star berths if he’s on contending teams. He can also be his team’s leading scorer, depending on the offensive game plan, and his talent as a shooter should help his teammates have productive seasons simply because of the attention he’ll draw.

The Stat Comparison Categories (via NBA.com/stats):

  • Usage Rate – an estimate of the number of plays “used” by a player per 40 pace adjusted minutes.
  • eFG% – a shooting percentage that adjusts for value of a 3-point field goal relative to a 2-point field goal.
  • TS% – a shooting percentage that adjusts for the value of free throws and 3-point field goals.
  • PIE - (Player Impact Estimate) measures a player’s overall statistical contribution against the total statistics in games they play in. PIE is calculated based on player and game statistics only when a player is on the floor.
  • REB% – percentage of available rebounds a player collects while on the floor.
  • AST/TO – assist to turnover ratio.
  • AST% - percentage of teammate FGMs a player assisted when he was on the floor.
  • OffRtg – team points scored per 100 possessions when on the floor.
  • DefRtg – team points allowed per 100 possessions when on the floor.

AGES/COLLEGE EXPERIENCE:

  • Bradley Beal was 19 years and 124 days old when he made his debut with the Washington Wizards on October 30, 2012. Beal played at Florida for one season, appearing in 37 games (four NCAA Tournament games).
  • Eric Gordon was 19 years and 309 days old when he made his debut with the Los Angeles Clippers on October 29, 2008. Gordon played at Indiana for one season, appearing in 32 games (one NCAA Tournament game).
  • Dwyane Wade was 21 years and 284 days old when he made his debut with the Miami Heat on October 28, 2003. Wade played at Marquette for two seasons, appearing in 65 games (six total NCAA Tournament games).
  • Ray Allen was 21 years and 104 days old when he made his debut with the Milwaukee Bucks on November 11, 1996. Allen played at UCONN for three seasons, appearing in 101 games (10 total NCAA Tournament games).

TOP TEAMMATES, ENTIRE SEASON (PER):

  • Beal – Nene (17.4), Emeka Okafor (16.5), Trevor Ariza (14.0), Martell Webster (13.6), John Wall (15.5).
  • Gordon – Zach Randolph (19.6), Marcus Camby (18.7), Baron Davis (14.5), Chris Kaman (14.4).
  • Wade – Lamar Odom (18.5), Eddie Jones (16.7), Rafer Alson (13.7), Udonis Haslem (13.7), Caron Butler (10.7).
  • Allen – Vin Baker (20.1), Glenn Robinson (17.5), Sherman Douglas (14.6), Elliot Perry (15.2).

FIRST 20 GAMES, ROOKIE YEAR

Numbers in brackets and italics next to Gordon, Wade and Allen represent the difference from Beal’s numbers. Green means Beal fared better, red means the comparison player fared better.

Pre-Analysis:

While Gordon and Allen both shot the ball far superior over their first 20 rookie games, Beal proves he can hang in other categories, especially in passing and rebounding. Beal turns the ball over less, but Wade picks up more assists, and Allen had some surprisingly strong rebounding numbers in comparison. Both Gordon and Allen, not surprisingly, put up better Offensive Ratings, and all three players we are comparing Beal to put up better defensive ratings. The PIE for both Wade and Allen show advancement over Beal and Gordon.

Bradley Beal – 1st 20 games, rookie year:

(Wizards record in games: 3-17)

  • Usage Rate – 20.9
  • eFG% – 42.1
  • TS% – 48.1
  • PIE – 8.2%
  • REB% – 7.0
  • AST/TO – 1.35
  • AST% – 14.2
  • OffRtg – 93.0
  • DefRtg – 104.1

Eric Gordon – 1st 20 games, rookie year:

(Clippers record in games: 4-16)

  • Usage Rate – 16.7 [Beal's Difference: +4.2]
  • eFG% – 48.7 [-6.6]
  • TS% – 55.0 [-6.9]
  • PIE – 8.1% [+0.1]
  • REB% – 4.2 [+2.8]
  • AST/TO – 1.26 [+0.9]
  • AST% – 13.3 [+0.9]
  • OffRtg – 96.7 [-3.7]
  • DefRtg – 102.2 [-2.1]

Dwyane Wade – 1st 20 games, rookie year:

(Heat record in games: 7-13)

  • Usage Rate – 22.4 [Beal's Difference: -1.5]
  • eFG% – 42.1 [0.0]
  • TS% – 46.2 [+1.9]
  • PIE – 9.2% [-1.0]
  • REB% – 7.1 [-0.1]
  • AST/TO – 1.32 [+0.03]
  • AST% – 22.5 [-8.3]
  • OffRtg – 91.3 [+1.7]
  • DefRtg – 100.7 [-3.4]

Ray Allen – 1st 20 games, rookie year:

(Bucks record in games: 11-9)

  • Usage Rate – 20.1 [Beal's Difference: +0.8]
  • eFG% – 48.8 [-6.7]
  • TS% – 54.0 [-5.9]
  • PIE – 9.5% [-1.3]
  • REB% – 8.1 [-1.1]
  • AST/TO – 1.27 [+0.8]
  • AST% – 11.8 [+2.4]
  • OffRtg – 109.7 [-16.7]
  • DefRtg – 100.7 [-3.4]

GAMES 21-50, ROOKIE YEAR

The numbers in parenthesis show the statistical difference for that specific player between their first 20 rookie games and games 21-50 of their rookie year.

Numbers in brackets and italics continue to represent the difference from Beal’s numbers versus Gordon, Wade and Allen. Green means Beal fared better, red means the comparison fared better.

Pre-Analysis:

Beal’s eFG% and TS% have increased by 7.7 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, in games 21-to-50 from his first 20 games. He’s also picked up an amazing 0.51 on his assist to turnover ratio.

Gordon continues to be the better shooter than Beal over games 21-50, but Beal has closed the gap, with just a 1.8 difference in eFG%, as opposed to a 6.6 percent difference over their first 20 games. Gordon also continues to have a better OffRtg, but his DefRtg takes a big slip (6.0 points worse) while Beal’s DefRtg has improved by 4.7 points.

One thing that really stands out is how much of a step Dwyane Wade took over his rookie games 21-50. With slightly increased usage, he increased his eFG% by 10.5 percent, and he boosted his OffRtg by 14.5 points. Beal only bests Wade in assist to turnover ratio over games 21-50, which is understandable since Wade’s Usage Rate and AST% are so high — Wade was really counted on to create as a rookie.

Finally, note that Ray Allen’s personal numbers in games 21-50 take a hit in comparison to his first 20 games. Not a ton, but enough for, along with Beal’s improvement, there not to be such a discrepancy between the rookie output of Allen versus Beal during this portion of their careers.

Bradley Beal – games 21-50, rookie year:

(Wizards record in games: 13-17)

  • Usage Rate – 20.1 (Diff. from 1st 20 gms: -0.8)
  • eFG% – 49.8 (+7.7)
  • TS% – 52.9 (+4.8)
  • PIE – 10.0% (+1.8)
  • REB% – 6.3 (-0.7)
  • AST/TO – 1.86 (+0.51)
  • AST% – 13.2 (-1.0)
  • OffRtg – 98.2 (+5.2)
  • DefRtg - 99.4 (+4.7)

Eric Gordon – games 21-50, rookie year:

(Clippers record in games: 7-23)

  • Usage Rate - 19.2 (Diff. from Gordon’s 1st 20 gms: +2.5) [Beal's 21-50 Diff.: +0.9]
  • eFG% – 51.6 (+2.9) [-1.8]
  • TS% – 59.1 (+4.1) [-6.2]
  • PIE – 9.2% (+1.1) [+0.8]
  • REB% – 7.1 (+2.9) [-0.8]
  • AST/TO – 1.35 (+0.09) [+0.51]
  • AST% – 13.4 (-0.01) [-0.2]
  • OffRtg - 100.4 (+3.7) [-2.2]
  • DefRtg – 108.2 (-6.0) [+8.8]

Dwyane Wade – games 21-50, rookie year:

(Heat record in games: 19-11)

  • Usage Rate – 24.2 (Diff. from Wade’s 1st 20 gms: +1.8) [Beal's 21-50 Diff.: -4.1]
  • eFG% – 52.6 (+10.5) [-2.8]
  • TS% – 57.9 (+11.7) [-5.0]
  • PIE – 13.8% (+4.6) [-3.8]
  • REB% – 6.9 (-0.2) [-0.6]
  • AST/TO – 1.37 (+0.05) [+0.49]
  • AST% – 24.5 (+2.0) [-11.3]
  • OffRtg – 105.8 (+14.5) [-7.6]
  • DefRtg – 97.0 (+3.7) [-2.4]

Ray Allen – game 21-50, rookie year

(Bucks record in games: 13-17)

  • Usage Rate – 18.3 (Diff. from Allen’s 1st 20 gms: -1.7) [Beal's 21-50 Diff.: +1.8]
  • eFG% – 48.6 (-0.2) [-1.2]
  • TS% - 52.9 (-1.1) [0.0]
  • PIE – 8.7% (-0.8) [+1.3]
  • REB% – 7.3 (-0.8) [-1.0]
  • AST/TO – 1.60 (+0.33) [+0.26]
  • AST% – 15.4 (+3.6) [-2.2]
  • OffRtg – 101.9 (-7.8) [-3.7]
  • DefRtg – 105 (-4.3) [+5.6]

Conclusion:

Beal is in a position to forge his own path. It will be exciting to see just how much his jumper continues to improve, as that’s obviously the key part to absolutely everything. Beal likely won’t be the NBA’s all-time top 3-point maker like Ray Allen, and probably won’t ever have the defensive (or perhaps overall) impact of Dwyane Wade — Wade’s wingspan is about 2.75 inches longer than Beal’s (per pre-draft measurements), but Beal has the potential to be a better defender than both Allen and Gordon. Not to take away from Gordon’s physicality, in particular, as he averaged 4.9 FTAs per 36 minutes over games 21-50, and Beal has averaged 3.2 attempts from the line over the same game span. However, Beal is a tough guy, too. And I’d doubt that Beal would ever act like the baby Eric Gordon acted like when he didn’t want the Hornets to match the offer sheet he signed with the Suns.

Bradley Beal is the next Bradley Beal, and the fun part will be finding out just how good that guy will become.

SHOT CHARTS (rookie games 21-50)

 

Bradley Beal:

Eric Gordon:

Dwyane Wade:

Ray Allen:

[data via NBA.com/stats and basketball-reference.com]