Wizards fans are holding their collective breath after guard Bradley Beal left Wednesday’s game against the Pacers with a sprained right ankle.
Beal rolled the ankle on a fast break late in the first quarter, and immediately doubled over in pain. He was able to walk off under his own power, but was quickly ruled out for the rest of the game.
If Beal’s out for even a couple games, that could become a problem for Washington. He missed nine games in late February and early March, and the Wizards went just 2-7 without him, a stretch that included six consecutive losses by an average margin of more than 15 points per game.
[daily_cut.NBA] Beal is crucial to preserving Washington’s fragile spacing. He’s the best three-point shooter on a team that only takes 16.6 threes per game. When he leaves the floor, the Wizards’ offense craters. With Beal on the court, Washington has an offensive efficiency of 108.0, a mark that would rank fourth in the league. When he’s out, that figure falls all the way to 100.6, which would rank 25th in the league.
If Beal’s out for an extended period of time, that would hurt Washington’s chances at grabbing home court advantage in the first round. Entering play Wednesday, the Wizards trailed the Raptors by two games for the fourth seed in the East. The Raptors hold the tiebreaker by virtue of beating Washington in all three of their meetings this year, so the Wizards would have a steep hill to climb over their final 10 games.