Jackie MacMullan explains 'hard' decision to leave Bradley Beal off All-NBA teams

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MacMullan explains 'hard' decision to leave Beal off All-NBA originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

For what feels like the fourth straight year, Wizards star Bradley Beal has done enough to be considered for an All-NBA but he's by no means a guarantee to make it. 

This year's group of players vying for All-NBA is deep, making it hard for fringe candidates like Beal even with looser rules on positional eligibility. 

ESPN's Jackie MacMullan is one voter who plans to leave Beal off of her All-NBA ballot. Her third team roster includes Kyrie Irving and Paul George at guard, Julius Randle and Zion Williamson at forward, and then Rudy Gobert to the Jazz. Beal was an odd man out once again, but it wasn't an easy decision for MacMullan.

"It was hard to leave Beal off, really hard to leave Beal off," MacMullan said on the Bill Simmons Podcast. "I've voted for him in the past. Every year you're gonna have a Bradley Beal debate for third team. The team isn't very good but he's otherworldly, he's fighting with Steph Curry for the [scoring title]."

Related: Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook's case for All-NBA

You leave [Ben] Simmons off, you leave [Jayson] Tatum off, Zach LaVine I thought was hard to leave off, Bam Adebayo was tough to leave off but I did," MacMullan said. 

2020-21 has been the best season of Beal's career to date. He's averaging a career-best 31.4 points per game to go along with 4.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and a 48.9% shooting percentage, which is also a career-high. 

It wouldn't be a stretch for Beal to make All-NBA, and that's the difficulty of the voting process. There are a lot of great players left off after the fact. 

"I love Beal," MacMullan said. "But who do you bump? Look at Zach LaVine last year to this year. Everything we wanted Zach LaVine to do, he did everything. But his team just wasn't there."

For now, all Beal really has to worry about is getting healthy enough to help his team in the play-in tournament. He's missed three consecutive games with a hamstring strain and Washington's magic number to clinch a play-in spot is 1