The Washington Wizards’ $128 million shooting guard Bradley Beal will miss his third consecutive game on Wednesday night because of a tight right hamstring.
Beal last played Nov. 9 against the Boston Celtics. He slipped during a drive to the basket, which led to an awkward position for his legs. He left the game after playing 11 minutes. He has not been back into a game since.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks said Tuesday that Beal participated in a “good chunk” of practice, but not all of it. Brooks labeled Beal’s status as day-to-day. He was ruled out of Wednesday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers after morning shootaround.
His likely replacement in the starting lineup is rookie Sheldon McClellan. McClellan was a quality fill-in for Beal on Nov. 12, when he started against the Chicago Bulls. McClellan scored 15 points in 35 minutes during his first start. He also guarded Dwyane Wade well.
During the preseason, Brooks explained that he viewed every player on the team as an NBA player no matter contract status, draft status or years in the league. He’s gone from talking the talk to walking the walk by inserting rookie Tomas Satoransky into the rotation and taking out former lottery pick Trey Burke. Last week, he sat veteran Marcus Thornton in favor of McClellan, an undrafted rookie free agent from Miami.
“I think what we’re trying to create are opportunities for guys to develop,” Brooks said. “And our job as a staff is to develop them and give them an opportunity to play. And you want players to be rewarded by the minutes that they get and not be entitled to them because that can destroy your team if you give younger players or high draft picks minutes and they don’t deserve it. I’ve never done that. Fortunately for me in the past, some of our high draft picks [Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook] were pretty good.”
Beal’s absence continues an injury-riddled run through his career. The 23-year-old has missed significant time in his four NBA seasons. Last season, he set a career-low for games played with 55, one fewer than the 56 he played his rookie season. Thanks to his absence Wednesday night, Beal will have missed 25 percent of regular season games since he entered the league as the third overall pick in 2012.
The upshot for the Wizards (2-7) on Wednesday is that point guard John Wall will play. He could play in back-to-back games this week for the first time this season. Wall had been sitting out the second of back-to-back games as part of his recovery from offseason knee surgeries. The Wizards host the New York Knicks on Thursday night.