Bradley Beal could begin non-basketball activities this week, according to J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com. The Wizards shooting guard has missed nine consecutive games with a lower right leg injury. Beal will be on a minutes restriction when he returns, the report adds, but coach Randy Wittman has no plans to use Beal off the bench to save him for late-game situations. “No, because we’re going to have to control his minutes some when he first comes back like we have every year,” Wittman said. “We never had to deal with the problem again after getting a couple weeks of limited minutes.”
In other news regarding the Wizards:
- Nene and Drew Gooden could be close to returning from calf injuries, J. Michael reports in a separate story. Wittman isn’t sure if either will be back this week. “It could go anywhere from three or four days to two weeks,” Wittman told the team’s beat reporters. “When you’re dealing with a calf, until you fully don’t feel anything twinging down there [you don’t know]. They’re closer.”
- Paul Pierce carries only fond memories of his season with the Wizards, Rowan Kavner of Clippers.com writes. Pierce averaged 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds last season, then boosted his scoring average to 14.6 points in the postseason before signing with the Clippers. “I had a lot of fun, truthfully, just being around the young guys, teaching them every day, talking to them,” Pierce told Kavner. “Even though it was one year, I had a lot of fun being around these guys. They welcomed me with open arms. I embraced the city, they embraced me back, and I really enjoyed my time.”
- The Wizards miss Pierce’s brutal candor and moxie but both sides needed to move on, J. Michael opines in a column following their loss to the Clippers on Monday. Pierce’s departure allowed small forward Otto Porter to take a starting role and rookie forward Kelly Oubre to gain a spot in the rotation, J. Michael continues. It also allowed Washington to play at a higher pace but there’s no denying that Pierce had a significant impact on his younger teammates, J. Michael adds.