The injury bug seems to have taken it's toll in the month of December, with Bradley Beal injuring his left knee against the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night. X-rays were negative after the game, and Beal left the Target Center walking under his own power. The Wizards guard is set to have an MRI Saturday to learn the extent of his injury.
Beal missed nine games earlier in the season with a stress injury to his right fibula.
Washington is battling for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, and Beal's injury comes right as John Wall, Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster have started to jell.
The injury will mean Webster will again see minutes as a starter, with Otto Porter Jr. and Glen Rice Jr. seeing their minutes increase accordingly as head coach Randy Wittman tries to adjust the wing rotation. It's also possible that backup point guards Eric Maynor and Garrett Temple see their floor time adjusted as was the case when Beal missed time in early December.
The Wizards went 4-5 without Beal during that stretch, and lineup data without him wasn't encouraging. Wittman has announced that Nene Hilario may continue to come off the bench for Washington as a sixth man. The Wizards likely starting lineup would include Webster and Trevor Booker in new roles, where they have allowed 119 points per 100 possessions, per 82games.com.
Beal added a much-needed offensive spark for the Wizards, shooting 46.4 percent from three-point range and acting as a catalyst in transition.
Moving forward, Washington will have to lean on star John Wall even more in the absence of Beal, a disappointing development as the young backcourt has looked promising in their opportunities together this season.