With a pivotal matchup with the Charlotte Bobcats looming that will go along way to determining playoff seeding in the East, the Wizards could be missing their best one-on-one defender, Trevor Ariza, after he slipped on the recurring condensation on the court in Saturday night's win vs. the Atlanta Hawks at Verizon Center and injured his left groin.
Ariza will get treatment Sunday before the Wizards (38-35) leave to play at the Bobcats on Monday (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).
"Honestly, I don't know," Ariza told CSN Washington when asked if he thought he'd play, after he'd told a media horde that he was "OK."
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He fell hard in the fourth quarter. Earlier in the day, there was an NHL game between the Capitals and Boston Bruins. Less than two hours before tipoff, arena workers still were scrambling to put down the floor for basketball. John Wall and Bradley Beal fell victim to the wet floor. Hawks point guard Jeff Teague appeared to loose his footing but was able to break his fall.
"Everywhere it was slippery. You were scared to make a move," Wall said. "The situation with Trevor, he could've torn a groin, or anything. ... It was getting worse and worse."
Beal's only turnover came when he sprinted to the corner in transition, received the ball and slid laterally with both feet as if he were wearing ice skates. He got up slowly but was the lucky one. For once, Beal, who was playing with a right hip pointer, wasn't badly hurt. Ariza? He wasn't as fortunate.
"He was able to finish the game. He's a little sore," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "He slipped. That floor was awful. I apologize for that. That shouldn't happen. We won't know anything probably until (Sunday) morning."
Ariza was measured in his words, though clearly agitated that the conditions for a game weren't ideal. He exited the trainer's room with a bandage on his left leg and a pronounced limp.
"Somebody could've really gotten hurt. We need to keep our players safe," he said when asked if he'd make a complaint to the NBA's Players Association through team rep Garrett Temple. "I try to play the game as fast as I can all the time. After I fell and slipped, I slowed down for sure."