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Wizards save Bradley Beal for matchup with Bulls


Wizards save Bradley Beal for matchup with Bulls

The minutes limit for Bradley Beal is 32, and now that he's back for the Wizards he'll likely need each one to make sure they get the victory Wednesday with the Chicago Bulls with the season series on the line. 

Beal, who returned from a three-game absence with a pelvic sprain on Monday, logged 25 minutes as the starting shooting guard. The restriction is for his lower right leg stress reaction that kept him out 16 games in a row earlier this season. 

"I was a little nervous. It was my first time running," Beal said after Tuesday's practice at Verizon Center. "Definitely hesitant with some things. I just try to come out and just not think about it and just play."

Beal made his first shot and ended 4 of 10 for 12 points in a 43-point blowout of the Detroit Pistons. They've won that season series already 3-0 with one more game scheduled. With Chicago, the series is 1-1 and Wednesday is the final meeting.

With the playoff seedings bunched up in the East, every edge counts and the tiebreaker is vital. 

Beal was injured in a nasty fall over the weekend in a loss to the Indiana Pacers and didn't play on a road trip that went from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Utah Jazz and then the Denver Nuggets. Beal didn't travel for the first game but rejoined his teammates going into the last two games being played as a back-to-back. 

He only received treatment on his pelvic sprain, which he had while he initially remained in D.C., but as CSNmidatlantic.com reported at the time the intention was for him to actually play. 

"I felt good two days after I fell," said Beal, referring to last Monday when the Wizards flew out to Portland to play the next day. "The first day I couldn’t move. Couldn’t get out of bed. Second day I was moving better, seeing a chiropractor. Flew me out just to see if there was a possibility of me playing in one (game). … I felt good but as soon as I got there and tried to move I still wasn’t ready."

Beal didn't practice Wednesday but not because he didn't have any setbacks. He did individual work. Alan Anderson (left groin) was held out of practice.


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Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

Washington Wizards

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

This weekend was already going to be special for Washington Wizards fans. Now they will get souvenirs to remember it.

As part of their celebration of Phil Chenier's legendary career and the 40th anniversary of their 1978 NBA championship, the Wizards are handing out emoji signs on Friday night and commemorative t-shirts on Sunday. All fans in attendance will receive a giveaway.


The emoji sign has Chenier's face on it and will be handed out for the March 23 game against the Nuggets. Chenier will have his jersey retired at halftime during the game. 

The emoji sign is presented by NBC Sports Washington. You're welcome, Authentic Fans.


The shirts will be given out on Sunday when the Wizards host the New York Knicks. 

Here's the front...

And the back...

Let's take a closer look at that back...

As a reporter who has received many giveaways over the years at pro sports stadiums, these are uniquely awesome. Should be a great weekend for Wizards fans. See you at the arena.


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Wizards drop to precarious position in close Eastern Conference playoff race

Wizards drop to precarious position in close Eastern Conference playoff race

As if they needed a reminder, the Wizards saw firsthand on Wednesday night just how much can change in a short period of time in the Eastern Conference playoff race where just two games separate the No. 3 and No. 6 teams.

That No. 6 team is now your Washington Wizards, who began the day in fourth place but lost their first game in four days on the same night both the Cavs and Sixers won theirs. 

The Wizards lost to the Spurs on Wednesday and managed only 90 points, their fewest since Jan. 22. It was a lackluster performance in a game the Wizards needed to treat with urgency. 


The Spurs sure did.

"We've gotta have a better mentality coming into games," guard Bradley Beal said. "The Spurs were fighting for playoff seeding just like we were."

The Wizards have now lost six of their last 10, yet all those games have come against teams currently holding playoff spots. Considering John Wall reamins out with a left knee injury, it's hard to fault them too much when they are staying afloat just fine in the big picture.

The problem is that the closer they get to the end of the season, the more these losses are magnified. They amount to missed opportunities, some bigger than others.

That was not lost on Beal, who considered the alternative. If the Wizards had beaten the Spurs, they would be sitting in fourth, two spots higher, and just a game-and-a-half out of third.

"Every time we have a chance to move up, we take two steps back," Beal lamented.


The Wizards are in a high stakes part of the standings where plenty is in the balance. They are fighting for home court advantage, something they would get in the third or fourth spots. And who they match up with will be paramount.

By falling to sixth, the Wizards are currently in line to play the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though the Pacers and Sixers are also good teams, they don't have LeBron James. Avoiding him and the Cavs would be ideal for the Wizards.

Beal has even bigger worries than that. He noted after the loss in San Antonio that they could fall even further if they aren't careful. They are now just a game-and-a-half up on the seventh-place Heat. 

"We've gotta realize what's at stake, man. The way we're going, we could keep dropping and mess around and be eighth. We've gotta do whatever it takes to win," he said.

The Wizards should be fine, if the previous two months are any indication. But Wednesday night was another example of how precarious things are for them this season in the tightly-packed Eastern Conference.


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