This is not the way the Washington Wizards – or any of us, actually – wish to begin the 2014-2015 season. According to multiple reports, Wizards star guard Bradley Beal will miss significant time after suffering a serious wrist injury in the team’s exhibition game on Friday night against the Charlotte Hornets.
J. Michael of CSN Washington offers more insight on this developing situation. Though no plan of action or timetable for Beal’s recovery has been agreed upon, Michael reports that Beal will miss a “significant” portion of the season.
Bradley Beal had an MRI on his left wrist Saturday afternoon, and CSNwashington.com confirmed through multiple people with knowledge of the situation that he’ll be out for significant, though still an undetermined, period of time.
Beal is being evaluated by doctors and surgeons before they decide on what course to take for treatment, and then an official announcement will be made on the exact time he’s expected to miss.
“We’re still going through the evaluation process,” said Mark Bartelstein, Beal’s agent, to CSN. Beal told teammates, CSN also confirmed Saturday, that he thinks he will miss significant time.
This is a major blow for a team on the cusp of legitimate contention in the Eastern Conference. Beal, 21 years-old, is one of the league’s brightest young wings and was seemingly primed for his best season yet after a summer spent training with USA Basketball. Without Beal’s ability to stretch the floor and act as a secondary ballhandler, an even bigger onus will fall on the Wizards’ John Wall during the first several weeks of the season.
Washington scored 1.5 points more per 100 possessions with Beal on the floor than the bench in 2013-2014. The team also shot 38.7 percent from beyond the arc while the sharpshooter was playing, compared to just 36.8 percent when he sat. Beal’s influence extended to the other side of the floor, too; the Wizards fared 1.6 points better per 100 possessions defensively with him in the game last season.
Second-year shooting guard Glen Rice, Jr. figures to pick up the slack in Beal’s absence, as does journeyman Garrett Temple. Fellow sophomore Otto Porter, the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, is also likely due an increase in playing time as veteran Martell Webster remains sidelined after offseason back surgery.
Washington opens the season on October 29 in South Beach against the Miami Heat.
*Statistical support for this post provided by nba.com/stats.
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