John Wall, Bradley Beal give upstart Wizards "Flash and Splash" backcourt

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By BRANDON THEO DORSEY
College Contributor Network

In the last column, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry were given the bronze medal of NBA backcourts. Their style of play works well together and they will likely be working alongside one another for the next few years.

This column highlights the second-best NBA backcourt -- John Wall and Bradley Beal. They were the youngest starting backcourt to make the playoffs last year and also one of the most productive.

Here's why they edge out their Toronto counterparts to make the number two backcourt in the NBA.

Flash and Splash

John Wall is a playmaker. As one of the fastest players in the NBA, he is able to beat defenders on a regular basis by aggressively attacking the basket. The perfect match for a player of this style is a pure spot-up shooter.

Insert, Bradley Beal. The best part of this pairing is how Beal is able to keep up with Wall's pace.

There is no definitive nickname for the pair of guards, but one that has been thrown around is "Flash and Splash." Wall brings the speed and electric plays, while Beal stretches the defense with a barrage of jumpers.

As an affectionate fan of Dwyane Wade, it is tough to relinquish the "flash" nickname, but witnessing Wall's speed from baseline to baseline is dazzling.

The former Kentucky Wildcat has also stepped up as a facilitator for the Wizards. He finished second in the NBA in assists (8.8 per game) and many of those found Beal's shooting pocket. According to 82games.com, 64 percent of Bradley Beal's field goals were assisted, and many of those were from his point guard.

Wall and Beal are excellent playing off of each other and having huge offensive showings together.

A backcourt that will not make this list is the Nets' duo of Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. The Brooklyn veterans are talented and tenured, but they probably won't continue together for much longer. Also, the two former All-star guards only reached 20 points in the same game twice all last season.

Unlike the Wizards pair, the two of them don't mesh as well offensively. Wall attacks the lane, draws fouls and creates open shots for Beal, and they don't call Bradley "splash" for nothing.

While Wall is most comfortable driving or shooting on the right side of the court, if he is unable to get a good look at the rim, he generally finds his trusty sidekick spotting up in one of his sweet spots on the weak side.

Beal shoots over 40 percent from deep on the left side and that opens opportunities for Randy Wittman to draw up effective plays for the two. But, as we are so infatuated with Beal's shooting touch, we overlook a shocking statistic from his teammate.

John Wall shoots a supreme 47 percent from the right wing. We're talking three-point range! He has improved extensively and only looks to get better.

Speaking of getting better:

You haven't seen nothing yet!

The key for the Washington Wizards backcourt is the youth of the 21-year-old Beal and 23-year-old Wall. It is clear with the progression to this point that both guards are growing and have high ceilings.

I'd label what the two guards have as "potential," but, according to Cleveland Browns quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains, "Potential just means you haven't done anything yet."

Not true for these two.

As already mentioned, the Wizards' backcourt was the least experienced of any postseason team last year. Behind the consistent shooting of Beal however, Washington almost snuck into the Eastern Conference Finals.

As Beal saw his minutes and role increase in his first-ever playoffs, so did his production.

The former first-team All-SEC guard channeled his mentality from back in his Florida days, when he was the Gators' number one option. He led the Wizards in scoring in both series and as the quantity of his shots increased, so did the quality.

He saw a statistical increase in almost every category, including those judging efficiency.

Wall is already arguably the best point guard in the Eastern Conference at 23 years old. With the showing his backcourt mate had last postseason, Beal could be a top three shooting guard in the NBA by his own 23rd birthday.

The Wizards should be pleased they rejected the chance to trade him for James Harden back in 2012 when the Thunder offered the then-Sixth Man of the Year for Bradley Beal and Chris Singleton.

Harden is an All-NBA guard, but Beal isn't a liability on defense and still has plenty of upside.

"Flash and Splash" are young, athletic, and can both shoot competently. With the two steadily improving, this tandem will be a force in the Eastern Conference for years to come.

Click here for a breakdown of how Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are underrated and here to view the number one backcourt in the NBA.


Brandon Theo Dorsey is a senior Broadcast Journalism major and Leadership Studies minor at Hampton University. He is a native of Missouri City, Texas and a proud Miami Heat fan since 2005 -- with pictures to prove it. Unless you're a Knicks fan, follow him on Twitter: @BrandonTheoD
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