Former NBA All-Star Bradley Beal missed three straight games while he was under the league’s health and safety protocols. He has already been cleared to play, but the Washington Wizards will continue to sideline him as he ramps up his conditioning.
Beal contracted the virus before the Wizards took on the Memphis Grizzlies on November 6 and missed games against the Charlotte Hornets and Dallas Mavericks. Washington’s back-to-back home stand might be the reason why the team has decided to let “Big Panda” return to game conditioning.
The Wizards posted a big win over the Dallas Mavericks without Bradley Beal and another former NBA All-Star, Kristaps Porzingis. Without both stars, it was Kyle Kuzma who showed the way for the Wizards.
Beal is off to a better start than he did last season. He’s currently averaging 21.6 points on 51.7% shooting, including 32.5% from long range. Dallas played the second night of a back-to-back, which is why they looked lethargic.
The Washington Wizards will have no such advantage against the surprising Utah Jazz, who lead the Western Conference with a 10-3 record. Bradley Beal, one of the streakiest shooters in the NBA, will be sorely missed by the team.
Beal could likely return on November 16, when the Wizards square off against the OKC Thunder.
Meanwhile, Tyler Herro, who was upgraded to questionable by the Miami Heat against the Charlotte Hornets remains questionable. Herro didn’t play versus the Hornets due to a left ankle sprain. He will be missing his third straight game if he will be sidelined in the rematch against the Hornets.
The reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year winner has been inserted into the starting lineup by head coach Erik Spoelstra and hasn’t missed a beat. “Boy Wonder” is second on the team in scoring with 19.6 points per game behind Jimmy Butler. He is hitting a career-high 46.8% from the field, including 37.5% from rainbow distance.
Without Herro, Butler had to work doubly hard on the offensive end to lead the Miami Heat to a thrilling overtime win. “Jimmy Buckets” labored for his 35 points and clearly missed Herro’s threat from all over the floor to make his life easier.
Herro’s ability to run the pick-and-roll has opened a new dimension for Spoelstra’s offense. The Heat now have a legitimate outside shooting threat that forces defenses into awkward spots, particularly when the play involves Herro and Butler.
Jerami Grant: Left ankle sprain; Injured since October 26, 2022
Former NBA All-Star Jerami Grant has been dealing with an ankle sprain since a week into the season against the Miami Heat. He has been a staple in the Portland Trail Blazers' injury report either as questionable or probable, depending on how the ankle is feeling.
Grant was questionable against the New Orleans Pelicans but ended up with a game-high 42 minutes and finished with 27 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Portland leaned hard on Grant as they were missing six-time NBA All-Star Damian Lillard.
The Blazers have upgraded Grant to probable as the ankle might be feeling better already. Grant will likely join Lillard in leading Portland on the road in Dallas.
Kristaps Porzingis: Left groin strain; Injured since November 10, 2022
Kristaps Porzingis was ruled out by the Washington Wizards when they faced the Dallas Mavericks. He has been upgraded to probable for tonight versus the Utah Jazz. Without Bradley Beal, Porzingis’ presence will be even more important against the streaking Jazz.
The “Unicorn” is averaging 19.2 points per game while shooting a career-high 47.7% from three-point range. If he plays, the Wizards could earn their first three-game winning streak of the season and put them above .500 for the first time.
Washington was extra cautious with Porzingis' injury and should likely play tonight.
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