Randy Wittman Should Not Rush Bradley Beal Back


Oct 6, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) during practice before the game against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

All Washington Wizards fans want to see Bradley Beal back on the court as soon as possible. The mass are calling for his return to be Friday evening when the Wiz Kids host LeBron and the Cavaliers.

But unless Beal’s wrist is 100 percent and he doesn’t experience any major soreness throughout the week, Randy Wittman shouldn’t feel pressured to bring his star shooting guard back immediately.

Beal had wrist surgery on Oct. 12 after injuring the bone in a preseason collision. And after nearly six weeks in a cast, the likelihood of experiencing soreness is very high.

Wittman & Co. also don’t want to risk Beal re-injuring his wrist and possibly missing more time.

I went through a very similar injury before, and it does take a little time for the muscles to get fully back to strength. Luckily for Beal, however, is that the injury was on his non-shooting hand and not his right hand. That could have made the process even longer.

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Beal will also need to get back in basketball shape, but that shouldn’t take long at all for someone who plays year-round.

And while Beal’s presence on the floor cannot be devalued, the Wizards don’t necessarily need him back this week. Yes, they host the Mavericks and Cavaliers. And yes, they’ve struggled recently against some lesser opponents ultimately walking away with a win.

Performances like that against the better teams in the league will result in blowout losses like the game in Toronto.

But the season is still very young, and so far Washington has been able to play at a high level with Beal on the bench.

The Wizards are shooting 46.4 percent from the court, good for 11th in the league. They’re averaging just under 100 points per game at 98.7 per game and defensively are fifth in the league in steals at 8.9 per game.

And Randy Wittman has used a number of different players to pick up where Beal left off.

Garrett Temple started the season strong, but after a 16-point performance against the Pacers on Nov. 5, he has yet to attempt more than six shots in a game and hasn’t scored more than six points. His minutes have also declined, but that’s where Rasual Butler has stepped in.

Butler has scored in double-digits the last two games and has shot the ball very well over his last three games (74.9 percent from the floor).

And although Washington sits at the bottom half of the league in three-point percentage (.328), the performance of John Wall and the big men down low have helped neutralize the loss of Beal.

Getting Beal back will surely give the Wizards a boost in all facets of the game. He’s too good of a player to not have on the court, but Wittman shouldn’t bring him back until he’s 100 percent. At 7-2, there’s no reason to rush a key player back from injury.