WASHINGTON (WDVM) – Just when the Wizards were starting to get back to full strength, they faced another blow to their lineup on Tuesday, when star guard Bradley Beal was placed into health and safety protocols.
Beal will not play against the Thunder on Tuesday, but it’s not all doom and gloom for the Wizards.
Tuesday’s game against the Thunder marks the beginning of an eight-game homestand for the Wizards. On the injury front – Rui Hachimura made his season debut on Sunday after missing all games prior due to undisclosed personal reasons, Montrezl Harrell will return from the COVID list Tuesday and Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. expects Thomas Bryant, who suffered a season ending ACL injury last year, could make his season debut on Wednesday.
“Getting this group back together is important, you know, obviously we’re at the midpoint of the season and we’re now finally getting the opportunity to do that,” Unseld said. “You know, whereas ideally that happens in camp.”
The Wizards season sits at a crossroads with a .500 record of 20-20 and sitting at ninth place in the Eastern conference, just half a game ahead of the Knicks who are in 11th place.
Beal, who recently received a COVID vaccine, will miss at least six days due to COVID protocols as a vaccinated player. Unvaccinated players in the NBA must miss at least ten days. The Wizards homestand could provide them with an opportunity to get on a roll at the midway point of the season, even without Beal for some time.
“We’re going to give it different looks and see what we like,” Unseld said. “Obviously without Brad, it puts kind of a wrinkle in the plan but we have to, you know, continue to push forward.”