Wizards fall short to Toronto
Since his game-changing and game-winning buckets in his first game back at the New York Knicks, Bradley Beal's shooting touch has struggled to adjust to playing on restricted minutes. After practice Saturday, he said he expected the limitations to continue.
"Doc told me the last two games I'm probably going to do it the next couple weeks or so," said Beal, who'd missed nine games because of developing the second stress reaction in his lower right left since April. The game vs. the Knicks on Dec. 16 was his first since the injury. "It sucks but I have to deal with it. It's for my own safety."
After Friday's 101-88 loss to the Toronto Raptors, the Wizards (14-16) have lost two games in a row. They play the Golden State Warriors at Verizon Center on Sunday (CSN, 6 p.m. ET).
Beal has shot 34-for-88, or 38.6%, in his last seven games. He has never played more than 30 minutes to prevent recurrence. That has forced coach Randy Wittman to adjust his rotations and how he uses Beal, who can be out of sync. Even if he has the hot hand, he has to come out of the game.
"I have to realize I cant rush anything. That's not the type of player I am," Beal said. "I'm going to continue to play within the flow of the game, get in a rhythm as best I can.
"I'm used to playing the whole first (quarter) and a little bit of the second and eventually getting in a rhythm that way. I was hardly ever a guy just come out and score 10 quick points or something like that."
Said Wittman: "It's hard for him. It's hard for me. Hopefully you get to a point where I can just coach and they can just play ... and I don't have to live with a stat sheet in my hand after every timeout. We've got to deal with it. We've been successful with it. We can't use that as an excuse."
Beal also had a collision in a Dec. 27 game at the Minnesota Timberwolves and left that game with a bruised left knee. It didn't cause him to miss any time. He has had no complications there, either.
"I feel good out there. I'm not in any pain, before the game, during the game, after the game," Beal said. "Those are good signs. These minutes are going to continue to be the way they are until I continue to get better."