Bradley Beal has become one of the most important players for the Washington Wizards this season. With the Wizards already struggling to score, things got worse when Beal had to sit out five games with a wrist injury last month. Now with Beal listed as day to day with an ankle injury, the Wizards must find a way to make up for his offensive production until he returns.
Randy Whittman more than likely will start Garrett Temple in place of Beal if he is unable to go against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. While Temple provides ball handling and defense, he alone cannot replace the offense that Beal provides. During the past 10 games Beal has been averaging 18.3 points per game and 5.6 rebounds. He also allows the Wizards to stretch the floor along with Martell Webster or Trevor Ariza running the wings.
No Beal also means John Wall will have to step up as he did in the closing minutes of their last game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Fortunately for the Wizards, Wall should be playing with more confidence after sinking two big jumpers to seal their last victory. Driving lanes are sure to be scarce so confidence in his mid range jumper will be important.
The team will also need Ariza to step up as he has been doing since returning from injury. Whittman had been experimenting with Ariza and Webster playing together for weeks so spending a lot of minutes on the court against the Timberwolves shouldn’t interrupt the rhythm of the team at all.
Every game is a challenge for the Wizards and playing against a depleted Timberwolves teams will probably be no different. Someone else will have to step up for the Wizards to help replace those 18 points Beal provided. Maybe now is the time for a Kevin Seraphin resurgence.