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Kevin Durant on Bradley Beal: ‘He’s a Hall of Fame, All-Star player’

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Wizards star Bradley Beal (day-to-day) with left hamstring soreness 76ers
USA Today Network

On Monday, Bradley Beal remained out in the Washington Wizards’ 112-100 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, but Kevin Durant still praised the three-time All-Star after the game.

“He’s a Hall of Fame, All-Star player,” the two-time Finals MVP said of Beal. “Take that away from your team, you’re trying to figure out where that impact’s gonna come from.”

A few NBA betting sites are giving the Wizards the eighth-lowest odds to win the championship in 2023. Meanwhile, some sportsbooks show Kevin Durant with the ninth-best odds to win MVP this season.

Earlier this month, Beal suffered a right hamstring strain in the Wizards’ 130-119 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. He has missed the last four games. Through 18 starts this season, the guard is averaging 22.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.2 steals.

Will Barton led the Wizards in scoring on Monday with a season-high 22 points in 33 minutes of action. Along with amassing seven rebounds and seven assists, Barton shot 8-of-15 (53.3%) from the field and 4-of-8 (50%) from 3-point range.

Kevin Durant calls Bradley Beal a “Hall of Fame, All-Star player” after the Nets’ 112-100 win over the Wizards

Kyle Kuzma ended his outing with 20 points, seven boards, three assists, and one block in 39 minutes played. He missed all four of his free throw attempts. Although the forward knocked down four 3-pointers, Kuzma shot only 38.1% from the floor.

“Hopefully we start getting some guys back. Hopefully, that’s the plan,” said Kuzma after the loss. “Tough stretch, we’ve lost a lot in a row, now we’re going to the West playing all playoff teams. So if we don’t figure it out, it’s going to be a long trip.”

Kevin Durant recognizes talent, but Bradley Beal is not a Hall of Famer. He needs to win a championship and/or at least one MVP award. Per Basketball-Reference statistics, the Wizards guard has a 2.3% Hall of Fame probability.

After the loss to the Nets, Washington is now on a seven-game losing streak. The Wizards’ upcoming six-game road trip could be brutal, especially without Beal.

All six opponents are Western Conference opponents: Denver Nuggets (Dec. 14), Los Angeles Clippers (Dec. 17), Lakers (Dec. 18), Phoenix Suns (Dec. 20), Utah Jazz (Dec. 22), and the Sacramento Kings (Dec. 23).

Minus the 11-year veteran, Washington ranks 23rd in the NBA in scoring, averaging 110.4 points per game. The team’s offensive efficiency rating is also 1.079, which ranks 22nd overall.

As for the Wizards’ defense, they’re allowing 112.9 points per game, ranking 15th in the league. Their defensive efficiency rating is down at the 22nd spot (1.103).

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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