Bradley Beal does great in his return to D.C., and the Suns beat the Wizards easily.

Bradley Beal does great in his return to D.C., and the Suns beat the Wizards easily.

The guy on the team from Phoenix who was playing with a broken nose was the one who needed to feel at home in their old neighborhood.

He scored 26 for his season-high 43 points within the first half. For the game, he made 16 of 21 shots, had six assists, and stole two balls.

For Bradley Beal, his first game back within the D.C. area since the Wizards dealt him to Phoenix proved an emotional one. Washington picked him third overall in the 2012 draft, and he looked very at ease in Sunday’s 140–112 win.

Despite this, Beal is facing a defense that doesn’t fit the three-time All-Star as well as Third Team All-NBA member from 2020-21, when he averaged 31.3 points per night.

He has a good amount of room to move when he has the ball, and when he doesn’t have it, helps guards leave him alone to spread the floor.

Phoenix will gladly take any pick-your-poison situation that comes up, even if it means Beal is only one second away from death. tracks almost all of Beal’s 3s this year as either open or wide open. When no defender gets within six feet, the latter gives Beal a 3-point percentage of less than 32%.

It will only be a matter of weeks before he starts to shoot and play like himself more. Before he got hit in the face, Beal was great in a low-usage role for four games in a row. Sunday had been a good start to getting back on track.

Phoenix (29-21) was ahead by 21 points at halftime. They had shot 69%, had 18 assists, and had only committed 6 turnovers toward a Washington (9-40) club that looked like it belonged in a Sunday afternoon game.

The Suns appeared more focused, which helped them in some games that had been tough for them.

This is an area in which Beal getting back to form would be very important. The assist-to-turnover ratio is the number that tells the story.

The Suns’ win on Sunday was the 15th consecutive game that Beal, Devin Booker, and Kevin Durant were all healthy. That’s a streak of one month and one day, which is pretty nice.

With 19 games under their belts, the Big 3 has had enough time to look at how they are doing, even though some players are missing time here and there.

The most important thing to remember is how badly Phoenix does when Booker takes a break. If you look at the net ratings, that’s a difference of 34.7 points per 100 possessions, which is a huge amount.

When Booker isn’t on the court, Phoenix’s offensive rating has gone from a great 125.5 to a terrible 102.2 since the 15-game win streak began. The drop is even bigger on defense, where it goes from a very good 113.4 to a terrible 124.8.

If Booker plays, the number is 2.26, which is great and would rank third in the NBA. But when Booker rests, it’s only 1.03, which is barely positive. The Orlando Magic have a 1.69 ratio, which is 29th best.

The Trail Blazers of Portland have a 1.52 ratio, which is 30th best. Now you see how low which non-booker ratio is.

To give this more time to look at, Booker got another foul near the end of the first quarter. Phoenix was +5 with 7 assists and four mistakes in the first 8:04 of the game.

Even though it was progress, it’s important to bring this up now that the trade deadline is coming up on Thursday. When these minutes came on in the second half, the game was already over.

There’s no need for a point guard to start for the Suns. They could, however, stand to look into one of the reserve types to fill in for varying amounts of time every night.

A sort of floor general to keep everything in order and make the most of Beal and Durant when Booker isn’t playing.

To remind you, Cam Payne could have played this role last season even though he didn’t do it very well. Phoenix could have kept him if they hadn’t traded him for what right now seems like primarily tax relief.

If you’re interested, Payne has played 45 games for the Milwaukee Bucks and has averaged 14.9 minutes per game. He shoots 45.9% from the floor and 40.3% from 3-point range.

When Payne plays, Milwaukee’s net rating is -1.4, which is a good result for someone who is Damian Lillard’s backup and is supposed to hold the door open.