- Washington’s Bradley Beal is considered day-to-day with a hamstring injury he suffered in Saturday’s win over Indiana
- Beal will miss Monday’s game versus Atlanta, and his status for the Wizards’ final three regular season games is unknown
- Read below for analysis on how Beal’s hamstring injury affects Washington’s playoff chances
Saturday was supposed to be a night of celebration for the Washington Wizards. Russell Westbrook tied Oscar Robertson’s NBA record for triple-doubles with 181, but instead of basking in the glow of the amazing feat, the team was trying not to panic over Bradley Beal’s hamstring injury.
Washington’s leading scorer left the Wizards’ overtime win over the Indiana Pacers in the final minute of regulation, after scoring 50 points in 39 minutes of action. Beal has already been ruled out of Monday’s tilt with Atlanta, and his injury has bettors fading Washington’s chances of making it out of next’s week Play-In Tournament.
2021 Washington Wizards Playoff Odds
|Yes Odds||No Odds|
Odds as of May 9th at FanDuel.
The Wizards’ NBA Playoff odds moved from +116 to +132 on Sunday alone, even though Beal is only considered day-to-day.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 9, 2021
He underwent an MRI on Sunday evening to rule out any serious injury, but his status for the final three games of the regular season is unknown.
Life Without Beal Would Be a Major Blow
Beal’s monster night against Indiana was his second 50-point game of the season, and his eighth outing with 40 or more. He made 19-of-31 attempts, and has now scored 25 or more in 71 of his past 82 contests.
Bradley Beal has recorded his 5th career 50-point game, most in Wizards franchise history. Beal joins Stephen Curry (3) and Jayson Tatum (2) as the only players with multiple 50-point games this season pic.twitter.com/Ut8YAuBtL2
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 9, 2021
He’s currently second in the NBA in scoring (31.4 ppg), just 0.5 ppg behind Golden State’s Stephen Curry. Along with Westbrook, he’s been instrumental in turning Washington’s season around, as he’s helped them win 15 of their past 19 games, leading the team in scoring in 11 of those contests.
Bradley Beal just dropped Antetokounmpo. No, the other one. pic.twitter.com/k7HaVQudjS
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) May 6, 2021
Beal has played in 59 of Washington’s 68 games this season, and his absence has been greatly felt on the night’s where he didn’t suit up. The Wiz are 1-8 without Beal in 2021, and average 10 fewer points per contest with him on the sidelines.
Washington Still Set Up Nicely
Fortunately for the Wizards, there’s no urgent need to rush Beal back into the lineup. Washington is all but guaranteed a spot in the Play-In Tournament, and they can certainly afford to let him rest for one or two games.
The Wizards’ final four contests are against Atlanta (twice), Cleveland (the second worst team in the East) and Charlotte (a potential Play-In Tournament foe). They currently sit ninth in the conference, half a game up on 10th place Indiana, and a game back of the 8th place Hornets.
As for the Play-In Tournament itself, Washington has a strong chance of passing Charlotte this week (thanks to the Hornets daunting final four-game stretch) and finishing 8th, meaning they could get multiple cracks at making the playoffs.
An 8th place finish would set them up for a one-game showdown with Boston or Miami, and even if they lost that, they could still get in by beating the winner of the 9th vs 10th place game (likely between the Hornets and Pacers).
🎥 #WizPacers HIGHLIGHTS 🎥
The best plays from last night's OT win in Indianapolis! pic.twitter.com/au6ImG9RKs
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 9, 2021
Washington is 3-0 versus Indiana this season, and while they’re 0-2 against Charlotte, the Hornets have been abysmal down the stretch (6-11), and are still missing their second leading scorer Gordon Hayward.
The Wizards meanwhile, have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA lately, with Westbrook and Beal playing out of their minds. Beal’s injury doesn’t sound serious – coach Scott Brooks said it was merely a tweak – making Washington a clear buy in the playoff futures market.
They have the firepower to beat any team in a one-game showdown, and no squad in the East that’s still fighting for one of the last playoff berths features a better one-two punch.
Pick: Washington Wizards to Make the Playoffs (+132)