Shortly after Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal commented that his short-handed team would be at a competitive disadvantage if forced to return to action for a road game Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA announced that the game was postponed.
It is the sixth consecutive Wizards game postponed due to the team’s COVID-19 outbreak.
The Wizards practiced Wednesday for the first time in 10 days, but they had just eight available players — the minimum permissible for game action under the NBA’s coronavirus protocols. Coach Scott Brooks said the players went through a “very light” workout.
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Beal said after practice but prior to the postponement news, “We weren’t able to get into a gym for a week. That alters guys’ rhythm, shape — that is just like a recipe for injury, honestly. I think we are fighting the league on (playing Friday at Milwaukee).”
Guard Ish Smith and Troy Brown Jr., forwards Rui Hachimura, Davis Bertans and Deni Avdija, and center Moritz Wagner were previously ruled out for Friday due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
The status of newly acquired guard Russell Westbrook, who has a quadriceps injury, was uncertain for Friday. Center Thomas Bryant was ruled out for the season last week due to a torn left anterior cruciate ligament.
“We already have guys out with injury,” Beal said. “Now we have a huge chunk of our team, like over 50 percent, with the virus now.”
The six Wizards games pushed back are among 17 NBA postponements so far this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
–Field Level Media