John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
St. Louis prep star Bradley Beal starts and struggles from the field in his NBA regular season debut with the Washington Wizards, who lost 94-84 to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Former St. Louis prep star Bradley Beal—given the unenviable task of living up to endless Ray Allen comparisons after the 2012 NBA Draft—struggled in his NBA regular season debut on Tuesday, going 2-8 from the field for eight points, three rebounds, three assists, and a steal in the Washington Wizards' season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Beal, selected third overall, was scoreless from inside the arc; both his field goals were three-pointers.
Bullets Forever, SB Nation's Washington Wizards blog, was not impressed with his debut; Mike Prada opens his article on the subject with enough It's Just One Games to cover the small sample size concerns before worrying about Beal's unaggressive performance, especially his seeming reluctance to look for his own shot.
The No. 3 overall pick attracted plenty of similar criticism in his sole season at Florida. It's great to be a catch-and-shoot guy, but that early in the first round teams expect—really need—more out of an offensive weapon. Ray Allen is one of basketball's best three-point shooters ever, but he was also a guy who excelled for a few years as the No. 1 scoring option for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Seattle Sonics.
Sorry—it just slipped out. Beal's got a long career ahead of him, and so far he's just 22 minutes into it. It's far too early to panic. But he'll be hearing the Ray Allen comparisons for good and for ill until he finally becomes his own player.