Sunday, January 29, 2023

Wizards’ Beal still undecided if he’ll play in restart

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Washington Wizards star shooting guard Bradley Beal is expected to travel with the team to Florida but remains uncertain if he will play once the season restarts.

Beal is slated to travel with the club to Orlando on Tuesday, pending the result of a coronavirus test. But the decision on whether or not to play may not come immediately.

“No final decision,” Washington coach Scott Brooks told reporters on Monday. “We are all still day by day.”

Beal recently expressed his concerns about the restart — which is to see 22 teams resume play at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando — due to the short preparation period and the increased injury possibility.

Brooks said that the two-time All-Star is excelling during workouts, while reiterating the decision to play will solely be left to Beal.

“He’s looking great. His physical condition has been pretty good and continues to improve every day, along with our other guys,” Brooks said. “We are all getting tested every day and as of right now, he’s a go, and we are all going down there ready to compete and get better and play to get in a playoff position. He looks great.”

Not having Beal would be a blow for the Wizards (24-40), who trail the Orlando Magic by 5 1/2 games for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The team is slated to resume play against the Phoenix Suns on July 31.

Washington will remain without five-time All-Star point guard John Wall (Achilles). Forward Davis Bertans won’t be available after opting out of the season restart.

Beal is averaging career bests of 30.5 points and 6.1 assists in 57 games this season. The scoring average is second behind Houston Rockets’ star James Harden (34.4).

Beal also is averaging 4.2 rebounds and has made 170 3-point baskets.

Beal has a 21-point career average over eight NBA seasons.

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