Sep 29, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) and Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) joke during Wizards Media Day at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Bradley Beal hasn’t played a second of the regular season, but the debate over which backcourt in the NBA is better – Cleveland’s or Washington’s – has already been put to rest.
Just two weeks into the season, Cleveland head coach David Blatt has taken Dion Waiters – who said that Beal and John Wall aren’t “messing” with him and Kyrie Irving – out of the starting lineup and into the sixth man role off the bench.
Waiters has played most of his career coming off the bench, but was inserted into the starting role this season. However, Blatt and LeBron James both felt it was better for the team if Waiters came off the bench, citing a need for more scoring and defense from the second unit.
So now that Waiters is back on the bench, it appears the Wizards have the better backcourt out of the two teams. As Wall said when the beef between the two teams over this topic started in the summer, you have to start in order to be considered the best backcourt.
If that alone doesn’t convince you, let’s look at stats.
Oct 30, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters (3) reacts against the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena. New York won 95-90. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
In seven games this season, Wall is averaging 19 points and 8.7 assists on 45.3 percent shooting. Garrett Temple is 10.7 points per game while shooting a career-best 42.9 percent from three.
Over in Cleveland, Irving is outscoring Wall by three points at 22 per game, but is averaging less assists with five. Irving, as the point guard, only has 30 assists all season (six games). Wall? Well he has 31 more in one more game with 61 total. Because, you know, point guards are supposed to set up other players to succeed.
Irving is also shooting nearly 10 percent worse than Wall at 36.7 percent.
Waiters, who started just three games and has played in five due to missing one game with an injury, is averaging 9.4 points per game and 37.5 percent from three. Temple is also shooting five percentage points better than Waiters overall at 40.7 percent compared to 35.4 percent for the guy in Cleveland.
The season is still young, but the debate over which backcourt is better has already been decided. Advantage Wizards.
–All stats gathered from Basketball-Reference.com