Brian Scalabrine explains why Bradley Beal is the NBA's best scorer

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Kevin Brown
·3 min read
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Scalabrine explains why Bradley Beal is the NBA's best scorer originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Bradley Beal's status as the NBA's best scorer is not only backed up by sporting the league's highest scoring average through the first 21 games, but also from the array of moves he can pull off at any given moment. 

That's what former Celtics forward and current NBC Sports Boston analyst Brian Scalabrine explained when he joined the Wizards Pregame Live crew ahead of Sunday afternoon's clash between the two teams.

"Best scorer in the NBA. There's not a thing he cannot do," Scalabrine said. "Right pull-up, left pull-up, stepback right, stepback left hesitation go, finish right, finish left. Three ball off the dribble, catch and shoot. So yeah, definitely the best scorer in the NBA."

NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller recalled when Scalabrine was one of the first to jump on the Beal bandwagon a few years back. Scalabrine said it was when former Wizards point guard went down with an Achilles injury and Beal started to be utilized in more pick-and-rolls that he saw just how good he was at putting the ball through the hoop. 

Scalabrine's opinion has an extra layer of credibility when you consider the copious amount of time he's spent watching film during his playing days to study his nightly defensive assignments.  As a reserve forward, Scalabrine didn't enter the game as a bonified defensive stopper, but knew he needed to do his homework to earn some minutes. 

"For me, I was slow as hell, but I had to guard a lot of players because I wasn't a four, played the three. So I had to study my ass off, I mean really sat down to watch film," Scalabrine said, who noticed star players from LeBron James to Tracy McGrady have five or six go-to moves that he prepared for. While stopping it during the game is another story, Scalabrine said his film studies for Kobe Bryant were a bit more challenging. 

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"When I prepared for Kobe Bryant, I think I saw 95 different ways that he scored out of his last 100. So then I ran another 100 clips and I saw another 75 different ways that I didn't see," Scalabrine said. "Then I go out in the game and guarded him, and he'd do something I didn't see. He went jab foot left, shot it off one foot like a runner kind of fading away and I was thinking to myself like, what do you do when you go to the gym? What do you work on? ...He worked on everything until he perfected everything."

The "Mamba mentality" encompassed Bryant's versatility as a lethal scorer. The same can be said for Beal. 

"Then I watch Brad Beal, and you guys tell me you see him every single day. I don't know if I watch him and can say, when he's going left he's going to do this," Scalabrine said. "Kobe was an anomaly, and I think Brad Beal is also an anomaly when it comes to scoring."