Are the Wizards better without Beal?

Don't look now, but the Washington Wizards are on a roll, winners of seven of their last nine games. And at 9-9, only Indiana and Miami have better records in the dreadful Eastern Conference.

The curious part about the Wizards' recent run is that most of it has happened without Bradley Beal, who has missed the last week with a stress injury to his right fibula. Washington is 5-8 in the games with the second-year standout, and 4-1 since he went down. Is it simply the case of taking advantage of a soft schedule or is there more to it?