The Washington Wizards are one of those teams that has a defined pecking order. Nearly every game, John Wall is the team’s go-to guy, Bradley Beal is Option 1A, and everyone else fills in the gaps as needed. It’s a natural hierarchy that makes sense, and you can argue that no team does a better job at broadly defining all of these roles better than Washington.
So when Wall was ruled out for two weeks with a knee injury, that threw a temporary wrench into the whole operation. The hierarchy got shuffled, with some moves being obvious (say, backup point guard Tim Frazier is now starting) and some being less obvious but still big in the grand scheme of things.
For example, with Wall out, this is Beal’s team. While the Wizards have players like Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter who are constantly growing as players and getting better at what they do, when Wall is sidelined, Beal is the guy. Seeing as how Wall has not missed more than five games in a season since 2013-14, this is a new thing for Washington. Sure, there are nights when Beal is playing well and things are run through him, but he’s never had to be “the man” before.