Between now in Saturday, when the Wizards play their next game at the Detroit Pistons, the focus will be on whether or not Bradley Beal returns from what's said to be a left shoulder contusion to practice.
Following a 115-86 win vs. the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday and then an off day, they reconvene Thursday at Verizon Center.
Although the Wizards (5-4) were blown out in their first game without Beal, 125-101 vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder, they've righted themselves in the last two games when coach Randy Wittman opted to start Garrett Temple instead of Gary Neal at shooting guard.
Temple has had 18 points and 10 in wins vs. the Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks. He's 5 of 10 from three-point range in those games. But just as importantly as his offensive burst, defense has gotten better with their 6-6 wing applying the ball pressure with John Wall. The Wizards' last two opponents are averaging 92.5 points.
"You don't forget 20-plus points a game," said Temple, regarded as their best one-on-one defender, of Beal who is the Wizards' leading scorer at 22.7 per game. "Everybody has to chip in, though. Like Witt has said. With that said, and we keep saying it, we don't have guys that's just going to go out and iso and get 30 points. We got to move the ball, player movement, ball movement and we did a great job of that."
Beal was injured in a collision in a Nov. 7 game and hasn't practiced since then. Fortunately for the Wizards, they've only had three games. If he doesn't practice between now and Friday, it'll be safe to assume that Beal will miss his fourth game.