There Washington Wizards will be without one of their young stars to start the regular season, shooting guard Bradley Beal is expected to be out between 6-8 weeks with a fracture in his left wrist per multiple reports. Fortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any nerve damage per David Aldridge. The injury occurred during a preseason matchup against the Charlotte Hornets, Washington will have the remainder of the preseason to not only find Beal’s replacement but get used to life without him during the time he will be sidelined.
Now that the bad news is out, Washington should take some solace in the fact that they have one of the deeper rosters in the league. During training camp, one of the words that was used almost at nauseum was “depth”. With the injury to Kris Humphries and now Beal, that depth will certainly be tested. It was Beal himself that mentioned how much of a role Otto Porter and Rice would play this season, Rice will have the opportunity to step up and prove his worth.
Rice and Porter had a huge Summer League, Glen was able to win the MVP of the league with his stellar play. He’s also been a factor in the first three preseason contests. The 23 year old is an active defender with good size and a great motor, he’s also shown the ability to knock down shots. His biggest strength on the offensive end may be in the way he attacks the basket, Rice is able to draw and finish through contact. While it’s definitely too early to determine who will be Beal’s primary replacement, it shouldn’t be a shock if Rice is named the starter until Beal returns.
Garrett Temple might also be seeing an opportunity to carve out minutes in Beal’s absence as well, if Rice is promoted than someone will have to step up off of the bench. With Martell Webster still injured, the other option at shooting guard could be Xavier Silas. There has also been speculation that the Beal injury has led to Washington increasing their pursuit on free agent guard Ray Allen.
While it will certainly be interesting to see how Washington deals with the absence of Beal, but that addition of Paul Pierce looks better and better at the moment. Obviously Pierce won’t be playing shooting guard, but having a proven offensive player on the floor after losing one never hurts.
John Wall may have to make the biggest adjustment, he and Beal have great chemistry on both ends of the floor. He’ll obviously have to get used to playing without him. The All-Star point guard will already be playing with a huge chip on his shoulder thanks to some preseason rankings and overall doubts from the masses. Washington is viewed as one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference (on paper) after what they achieved last season. If Wall and Rice (if he’s named the starter) can find a nice rhythm on the offensive end, things will be fine. They will definitely be terrors on the defensive end of the floor for opposing backcourts.
Wall’s leadership and play will be the reason the Wizards either get off to a good start or at least hold the fort down in Beal’s absence, if Beal had gone down like this last season, it would have been devastating. This is a much different Wizards team and a very different John Wall. The depth will certainly be tested, but this year’s Wizards team should be able to get through Beal’s absence, the sweet-shooting guard will definitely be missed.