The Wizards are at a critical point in their season and they may have to navigate it without Bradley Beal, writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Sunday’s loss to the Lakers was Washington’s sixth in its last seven games, and a challenging schedule looms for the rest of the month. There is concern about the status of Beal, who suffered a strained hamstring while diving for a ball midway through the first quarter and didn’t return to the game. He will undergo testing today to determine the extent of the injury.
“First of all, hopefully, he doesn’t have to miss that many games,” Corey Kispert said. “I’m praying for Brad, absolutely. He’s the heart and soul of our team. We need him on the floor. But whether it’s a good thing or not, we’ve experienced playing without Brad last year. A lot of guys on this team did that. We know exactly what to do, just kind of a mindset change and a little bit of a style change. But we need (Beal) on the floor. We want him out there.”
Beal, a three-time All-Star, is scoring more efficiently this season, shooting a career-best 52.2% from the field and 35.2% from three-point range. Robbins notes that the Wizards were able to go 4-2 when Beal was in the health and safety protocols earlier this season, with Kyle Kuzma taking on more of a facilitating role.
There’s more from Washington:
- Free agent addition Delon Wright, who has been sidelined since suffering a Grade 2 hamstring strain in the fourth game of the season, may be able to return this week, Robbins adds. Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. told reporters that Rui Hachimura is still “day to day” after missing eight games with a bone bruise in his right ankle.
- Two-way guard Devon Dotson and lottery pick Johnny Davis both entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols while in the G League, Robbins tweets.
- Daniel Gafford relied on support from his wife and his friends while seeing limited playing time in November, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Gafford scored a season-high 20 points Sunday after posting season-best marks with 12 rebounds and six blocks in Friday’s game. “Take a deep breath, it’s going to be okay,” Gafford said. “You might have a bad night this night, but you can come back the next night and you can prove that that wasn’t you. Just be better than the day before. In our bathroom, me and my wife, we have sticky notes of motivational things that we’ve said to each other over the times. Every morning I look at that and it helps me out a lot. I actually take the time out to look at that. So, really just finding ways to clear out my mental.”