Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas?

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Best Peak?

Arenas
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Wall
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Beal
5
15%
 
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Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#1 » by dcstanley » Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:11 am

I imagine this will only get traction with the few Wizards fans on this board but I'm curious to see what the consensus is. I think there's a real argument that Beal is peaking at a level that Wall and Arenas never reached. It is difficult to really gauge how good Beal is without seeing him perform in the playoffs but who would you guys say peaked the highest as a regular season performer?
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#2 » by nate33 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:30 pm

Current Beal > peak Arenas > peak Wall

That's not entirely fair to Arenas though because current Beal has only been doing it for 10 games. If Beal keeps this up all season, he is pretty clearly the best. Dude is averaging 35/5/5 on a .608 TS% and is playing respectable defense as well. The team plays .500 ball with him on the court and it's only the inexplicable 2-PG and 3-PG lineups that Brooks keeps throwing out that have prevented the Wizards from being a roughly .500 ball club. (The Wizards net rating is just -0.8.)

If we use Beal from last season, then it's peak Arenas > 2020 Beal > peak Wall.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#3 » by Jordan Syndrome » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:33 pm

Wall > Arenas > Beal

Not big on Beals impact currently, big fan of Wall at his peak as an elite playmaker and terrific defender.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#4 » by nate33 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:15 pm

Jordan Syndrome wrote:Wall > Arenas > Beal

Not big on Beals impact currently, big fan of Wall at his peak as an elite playmaker and terrific defender.

Wall was never that terrific of a defender. He had great defensive moments, mixed with a lot of laziness and ball watching. And Wall's great playmaking was always offset by his poor shooting and relatively high turnover rate. It's a shame really. If he would have just shot less and focused on defense and rebounding more, he had peak Jason Kidd potential. But he dragged down his team's offense by insisting on shooting way too many long 2's. It wasn't until much later in his career that he cut out the long 2 nonsense, but by then he was no longer a very good defender.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#5 » by Jordan Syndrome » Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:19 pm

nate33 wrote:
Jordan Syndrome wrote:Wall > Arenas > Beal

Not big on Beals impact currently, big fan of Wall at his peak as an elite playmaker and terrific defender.

Wall was never that terrific of a defender. He had great defensive moments, mixed with a lot of laziness and ball watching. And Wall's great playmaking was always offset by his poor shooting and relatively high turnover rate. It's a shame really. If he would have just shot less and focused on defense and rebounding more, he had peak Jason Kidd potential. But he dragged down his team's offense by insisting on shooting way too many long 2's. It wasn't until much later in his career that he cut out the long 2 nonsense, but by then he was no longer a very good defender.


Wall was the only good playmaker on most of his teams, especially at his peak in 2017. His on-ball play allowed Beal and Porter to truly shine on offense and Wall's playmaking really covered for the rest of the teams offensive deficiencies in that department.

If we look closer at the 2017 Wizards, we can see they were the 7th best offense by efficiency on the back of Walls major usage rate (30.6%). The team was middle of the road in Turnovers and Offensive Rebounding and reached the heights they did because of Wall's offensive brilliance. Looking at the shot profile we see a similar story, with Wall being assisted on just 14% of his shots and Beal and Porter were feeding off of the set-ups from Wall (Beal assisted on 80% of 3's, Porter 97%).

I will always value elite playmaking on top-10 offenses more than volume scoring like current Beal--who happens to be a significantly worse defender than 2017 Wall. Beal is no different than Zach LaVine for me, maybe a bit better scorer and a worse passer/playmaker.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#6 » by Vladimir777 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:06 pm

For me, I think Beal is the superior player to peak Wall, but I wasn't watching the Wizards (or the NBA, for that matter) closely when Arenas was playing. I want to vote for Beal, but can't in right conscience, just because I can't give an objective view of the matter here. But I'm amazed that Arenas is winning this poll by so much.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#7 » by Pelly24 » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:22 am

Gilbert is the best player here.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#8 » by Chaos Revenant » Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:21 am

Assuming Beal regresses somewhat to the mean (if he really is a 35 ppg 61% TS scorer now then its definitely him, though Arenas is still within shouting distance) I got Gilbert. Gilbert Arenas was almost 30 ppg scorer on 58-59% TS, on relatively low usage (Can't crosscheck directly, but Arenas has one of the few 29+ ppg seasons with under 32% usage, which is why he played with a 20 ppg scorer and an 18 ppg scorer that were noticeably less efficient), in an era with MUCH less spacing, and a system that really played down his offensive talents.

As great as Beal is, Arenas is more explosive, got to the FT line more, just as good of a shooter with Steph level range* and while Beal is a good defender, and Arenas somewhat not (though even that has been overstated, the Wizards defensive issues in that era were a product of the offensive system, Eddie Jordan's terrible rotations where he played players he liked, instead of effective players - sound familiar, and having Antwan Jamison who gives up as many points as he scores), its not enough to close the gap between last year's Beal and Gilbert. Arenas was also *dramatically* more clutch, despite that weird FT line choke in 2006 (though he also hit a 35 foot 3 off the inbound to tie the game in the first place)


*funny that Arenas was drafted by the Warriors aint it, he was Steph 0.5 in many ways but the injuries and gun **** really obscured how great he was, especially playing in an era where nobody had won a title playing the way he does)

Wall is simply not even in the conversation.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#9 » by nate33 » Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:23 pm

Chaos Revenant wrote:Assuming Beal regresses somewhat to the mean (if he really is a 35 ppg 61% TS scorer now then its definitely him, though Arenas is still within shouting distance) I got Gilbert. Gilbert Arenas was almost 30 ppg scorer on 58-59% TS, on relatively low usage (Can't crosscheck directly, but Arenas has one of the few 29+ ppg seasons with under 32% usage, which is why he played with a 20 ppg scorer and an 18 ppg scorer that were noticeably less efficient), in an era with MUCH less spacing, and a system that really played down his offensive talents.

As great as Beal is, Arenas is more explosive, got to the FT line more, just as good of a shooter with Steph level range* and while Beal is a good defender, and Arenas somewhat not (though even that has been overstated, the Wizards defensive issues in that era were a product of the offensive system, Eddie Jordan's terrible rotations where he played players he liked, instead of effective players - sound familiar, and having Antwan Jamison who gives up as many points as he scores), its not enough to close the gap between last year's Beal and Gilbert. Arenas was also *dramatically* more clutch, despite that weird FT line choke in 2006 (though he also hit a 35 foot 3 off the inbound to tie the game in the first place)


*funny that Arenas was drafted by the Warriors aint it, he was Steph 0.5 in many ways but the injuries and gun **** really obscured how great he was, especially playing in an era where nobody had won a title playing the way he does)

Wall is simply not even in the conversation.

Arenas played a ton of minutes, which boosted is points per game numbers. Beal is actually a lot more prolific of a scorer than Arenas, on a per possession basis.

At his peak, Arenas averaged about 36 points per 100 possessions, with 12.4 FTA's/100
So far this year, Beal is averaging an incredible 44 points per 100 possessions, with 12.1 FTA's/100.

To be fair, teams today score about 5% more per 100 possessions than they did in 2005, so about 2 of those points can be attributable to era rather than the player.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#10 » by Chaos Revenant » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:15 pm

Despite Arenas's higher minutes, Arenas had considerably less scoring opportunities when he was on the court. Beal had close to 23 FGA/36 last year and is at 24.6 this year. Gilbert Arenas *never* took more than 19 FGA/36 at any point in his career The fact that Arenas, despite lower usage and lower FGA, is still posting a higher FTA/100, speaks to Arenas's ability to create at the rim.

Beal has absurd usage this year though. Beal's current usage would be top 10 in NBA history (and last year top 40). And this is on a team with Russel Westbrook on it. Obviously he deserves the usage, but there's a real argument Gilbert Arenas didnt shoot *enough* given how efficient he was in relation to the NBA median.

Beal is on another level this year, and if this is his current level, not just a hot start, then yeah I take Beal, though the more I analyze it the closer it is. But Arenas was unique in that he scored a lot of points while comparatively not using that many possessions (a lot of those possessions went to Antwan and Butler, neither of whom were as efficient)

Also the era matters imo more than the raw points per possession. Arenas chafed at Eddie Jordan's regimented Princeton offense. He never got to play in a Kerr offense or anything similar that revolved around spacing and utilizing his range and dribble drive, despite having the same level of range and 3 point gravity as Steph (though he was a 36-38% 3P vs Stephs 43-45%, so he lacks the pure stroke), and compared to someone like Harden or Steph, he has the best dribble drive game of them all. In the modern NBA, Arenas would be taking at least 10 3PA/36 (similar to Lillard), maybe even 11-12 (closer to Harden) as opposed to the 6.5 he averaged at his peak (and he was roasted for taking those in 2005!)

Arenas in a modern 5 out offense would be unreal. Beal is averaging more 3PA/36 despite not nearly having the kind of pull-up threat and range that Arenas had (Beal has a great stroke, but you have to defend Arenas the moment he crosses half court).
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#11 » by Odinn21 » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:51 pm

Arenas pretty clearly. No versions of Beal or Wall coming close enough to 2006 and 2007 Arenas to make this an actual comparison.
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#12 » by nate33 » Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:07 pm

Chaos Revenant wrote:Despite Arenas's higher minutes, Arenas had considerably less scoring opportunities when he was on the court. Beal had close to 23 FGA/36 last year and is at 24.6 this year. Gilbert Arenas *never* took more than 19 FGA/36 at any point in his career The fact that Arenas, despite lower usage and lower FGA, is still posting a higher FTA/100, speaks to Arenas's ability to create at the rim.

Scoring efficiently on high usage is harder than scoring efficiently on lower usage. I don't know why you are penalizing Beal for taking more shots if they're going in. What matters is his efficiency. Beal is posting a TS% of .608. Arenas, in his best season, posted a TS% of .581. Again, the league today is posting a TS% .030 higher than in 2005, so their relative TS% are about equal.

Same efficiency, but significantly higher volume for Beal, suggests Beal has been the better offensive player. (Beal also has the superior TOV%, so if you factor turnovers in addition to shooting percentage, it only helps Beal's case.)
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#13 » by Effigy » Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:19 pm

Beal for me. Arenas was a shooting guard trying to be a Point guard. Complete tweener. 5 assists per game for a point guard in his prime is just inexcusable. Wall could never shoot. Beal is the player who most fits his position.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#14 » by Shanghai Kid » Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:20 pm

nate33 wrote:
Chaos Revenant wrote:Despite Arenas's higher minutes, Arenas had considerably less scoring opportunities when he was on the court. Beal had close to 23 FGA/36 last year and is at 24.6 this year. Gilbert Arenas *never* took more than 19 FGA/36 at any point in his career The fact that Arenas, despite lower usage and lower FGA, is still posting a higher FTA/100, speaks to Arenas's ability to create at the rim.

Scoring efficiently on high usage is harder than scoring efficiently on lower usage. I don't know why you are penalizing Beal for taking more shots if they're going in. What matters is his efficiency. Beal is posting a TS% of .608. Arenas, in his best season, posted a TS% of .581. Again, the league today is posting a TS% .030 higher than in 2005, so their relative TS% are about equal.

Same efficiency, but significantly higher volume for Beal, suggests Beal has been the better offensive player. (Beal also has the superior TOV%, so if you factor turnovers in addition to shooting percentage, it only helps Beal's case.)


It goes without saying, but you are putting a LOT on a small sample size of this seasons first 10 games. And this is a 10 game stretch that includes a 60 point game from Beal. It's such a small sample size that it seems silly to compare as of yet. Gilbert in December 2006 had a full month of averaging 35ppg on 60% TS. And his team went 12-4 in that month. Gilbert did that on a team that had the #1 record in the Eastern Conference at the all-star break. That month from Gilbert is more impressive than any stretch of Beals career.

It's just not who is a better offensive player, it's who is more impactful. Gilbert in 2006 had a higher WS/48, BPM, VORP than even this 10 game sample size of Beal. And he had a higher TS%, PER, WS/48, BPM, VORP, than last years Beal.

Gilbert lead the league in game-wining shots from 2005-2007. We've also actually seen Gilbert in the playoffs, averaging 34ppg in a playoff series on 59% TS and go head to head in a duel with Lebron James. We have not seen Beal as a #1 option even make the playoffs. "Oh but his supporting cast isn't as good", but then would he still be doing 30-35ppg on a playoff team with a better supporting cast?

If Beal keeps up his current play then I have no problem ranking him #1 here. But it's a stretch to go by a 10 game sample size that would make Beal one of the best scorers of all time (35ppg on 60% TS puts him on a Kobe/Harden/MJ level). Forget about Gilbert, if you want to go by the 10 games you may assume that Beal has become one of the best scorers in league history.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#15 » by Pharmacist » Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:22 am

Arenas
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#16 » by Pelly24 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:29 am

I think people need to put players in different contexts to get a good answer. Arenas was more explosive than Beal and a significantly better passer. Gil would take like 10 threes a game today and still get to the line a lot. He'd be a top 10 player for sure, whereas I put beal like more top 15 top 20.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#17 » by nate33 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:10 pm

Shanghai Kid wrote:It goes without saying, but you are putting a LOT on a small sample size of this seasons first 10 games. And this is a 10 game stretch that includes a 60 point game from Beal. It's such a small sample size that it seems silly to compare as of yet. Gilbert in December 2006 had a full month of averaging 35ppg on 60% TS. And his team went 12-4 in that month. Gilbert did that on a team that had the #1 record in the Eastern Conference at the all-star break. That month from Gilbert is more impressive than any stretch of Beals career.

I don't disagree. My first post on this thread:

nate33 wrote:Current Beal > peak Arenas > peak Wall

That's not entirely fair to Arenas though because current Beal has only been doing it for 10 games. If Beal keeps this up all season, he is pretty clearly the best. Dude is averaging 35/5/5 on a .608 TS% and is playing respectable defense as well. The team plays .500 ball with him on the court and it's only the inexplicable 2-PG and 3-PG lineups that Brooks keeps throwing out that have prevented the Wizards from being a roughly .500 ball club. (The Wizards net rating is just -0.8.)

If we use Beal from last season, then it's peak Arenas > 2020 Beal > peak Wall.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#18 » by nate33 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:18 pm

Pelly24 wrote:I think people need to put players in different contexts to get a good answer. Arenas was more explosive than Beal and a significantly better passer. Gil would take like 10 threes a game today and still get to the line a lot. He'd be a top 10 player for sure, whereas I put beal like more top 15 top 20.

So what if Arenas is "more explosive"?

I disagree that Arenas was a "significantly better passer". In his best year, Arenas averaged 7.7 assists per 100 possessions with 4.3 turnovers. Last year, Beal averaged 7.7 assists per 100 with 4.4 turnovers. They seem pretty comparable to me.

Arenas was about the 10th best player in the league for a while there. He made 2nd team All-NBA once and 3rd team twice. If Beal posts 35-5-5 all year on .600TS%, I guarantee he'll be at least 2nd team All NBA.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#19 » by Shanghai Kid » Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:14 pm

nate33 wrote:
Pelly24 wrote:I think people need to put players in different contexts to get a good answer. Arenas was more explosive than Beal and a significantly better passer. Gil would take like 10 threes a game today and still get to the line a lot. He'd be a top 10 player for sure, whereas I put beal like more top 15 top 20.

So what if Arenas is "more explosive"?

I disagree that Arenas was a "significantly better passer". In his best year, Arenas averaged 7.7 assists per 100 possessions with 4.3 turnovers. Last year, Beal averaged 7.7 assists per 100 with 4.4 turnovers. They seem pretty comparable to me.

Arenas was about the 10th best player in the league for a while there. He made 2nd team All-NBA once and 3rd team twice. If Beal posts 35-5-5 all year on .600TS%, I guarantee he'll be at least 2nd team All NBA.


Yeah we're on the same page. Beal is suddenly one of the greatest shooting guards in league history if he maintains 35/5/5.

Are we underrating peak Wall? Hes never going to score like Beal or Gil, but hes a significantly better passer than both. You could make a case that he was better defensively as well.

Wall averaged 23/11 on a 49 win team. In his last 19 playoff games hes averaging 27/10.

It seems like for one season at least he was on that top 12-15 player level.
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Re: Best player: current Bradley Beal, peak John Wall, or peak Gilbert Arenas? 

Post#20 » by Chaos Revenant » Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:34 pm

I think we all agree that if Beal is legitimately a 35/5/5 player for the whole season, he's the best player in this conversation.

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