Hurt wrist puts Washington Wizards rookie Bradley Beal's status in question

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Sports,NBA,Wizards,Kevin Dunleavy

Rookie may sit as Wiz head to Philadelphia

As the Washington Wizards try to erase the memory of a gnawing 96-94 loss to Sacramento, they will apply lessons learned when they face the Philadelphia 76ers for the first time this year Wednesday.

And they might have to do it without Bradley Beal, whose injured right wrist was in a cast as he sat out practice Tuesday morning. X-rays taken Monday were negative, but Beal might need more rest. He was hurt falling to the floor at Denver on Jan. 18.

"It's all right. It's not 100 percent, so I'm not going to force it or irritate it anymore," Beal said. "I haven't been the same ever since. It was just the fall. I feel as though if I can't help the team like I was previously, then I'm not going to play and force it or irritate it even more."

Up next
Wizards at Sixers
When » Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Where » Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
TV » CSN
Radio » The Fan 106.7 FM / 1500 AM

Coach Randy Wittman sounded more optimistic.

"I'm anticipating yes, but obviously I think there's a chance maybe not. We'll see what tomorrow brings," Wittman said. "There is a difference between an injury and being hurt. He's a tough kid, he wants to play. We also have to have an understanding that if it's affecting his play to a certain extent then you have to look at some rest."

In his last two games, Beal has scored a combined 10 points in 53 minutes, hitting four of 16 shots.

Sensing he was sore Monday night, Wittman limited Beal to 24 minutes and his absence was felt as the Wizards (11-32) let a winnable game against a struggling foe slip away. In an otherwise promising run in which it has won seven of 11 games, two of the losses have come by a combined three points to the Kings (17-29) via blown fourth-quarter leads.

Frustrated by their inability to take command Monday, the Wizards reverted to their old ways on offense according to Wittman, going one-on-one, failing to share the ball and wasting possessions.

"In the second half, that's as bad a ball movement that we've had in almost a month," Wittman said. "I don't know if we reversed the ball more than three or four times. We fell victim to doing too much individually."

Point guard John Wall (19 points, six assists, two turnovers) had strong numbers, but the Wizards still committed 20 turnovers. One of the reasons Washington lacked cohesion was the limited status of Beal, which disrupted the rotation.

The answer didn't come from backcourt reserves A.J. Price, Jordan Crawford and Trevor Ariza, who went a combined 3-for-14 in 58 minutes, with 10 points, six turnovers and four assists.

The mission in Philadelphia (18-26) will be to regain their offensive groove and prevent another point guard from torching them. The Kings' 5-foot-9 Isaiah Thomas ran circles around Wall on Monday night, scoring 22 points (twice his average), taking over the game in the final six minutes when he scored 10 of his points. He also had seven assists.

Wall's assignment will be more formidable on Wednesday. Twenty-two-year-old Jrue Holiday has blossomed into an elite scorer (19.4 ppg) and distributor (9.0 apg).

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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