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Morning tip: All eyes on Bradley Beal's return

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Morning tip: All eyes on Bradley Beal's return

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.

RELATED: Breaking down Wizards' defensive excellence in win vs. Bucks

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Wizards at Mavericks Game 1: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

Wizards at Mavericks Game 1: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

The Wizards head to Dallas for their regular-season opener. Bradley Beal will lead this new-look Washington group against one of the league's most dynamic duos in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.

Here is everything you need to know.

WIZARDS vs. MAVERICKS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Dallas Mavericks, 2019 NBA Season Game 1

Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX.

When: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Mavericks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Mavericks on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. MAVERICKS TV SCHEDULE

7:30 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

8:00 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)

8:30 PM: Wizards vs. Mavericks (LIVE)

11:00 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)

11:30 PM: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. MAVERICKS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: John Wall (left Achilles rehab – out), Troy Brown Jr. (left calf strain – out), Ian Mahinmi (right Achilles strain – out), Isaiah Thomas (left thumb rehab – out), C.J. Miles (left foot rehab – out)

Mavericks: Dwight Powell (left hamstring strain – out), Ryan Broekhoff (right ankle sprain – questionable)

WIZARDS vs. MAVERICKS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 75

Regular Season Record: Mavericks lead Wizards 43-32

Last Meeting: 3/6/19, Wizards won 132-123

Last 10: Mavericks lead 8-2

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Troy Brown Jr. on Bradley Beal's extension, making a name for the Wizards

Troy Brown Jr. on Bradley Beal's extension, making a name for the Wizards

WASHINGTON -- The Wizards hoped Bradley Beal's decision to sign a contract extension last week would send a message to the younger players on the team. According to second-year veteran Troy Brown Jr., it already has. 

Brown, 20, said he was part of a group of players that cheered Beal when he arrived at the team's practice facility over the weekend, the day after news broke. 

"I was happy," Brown said. "We just appreciate him."

Brown's biggest takeaways from Beal's new contract, which will keep him in Washington through at least the 2021-22 season, involved the commitment he has made. Even as a two-time All-Star in his prime, he is willing to see through what the Wizards are trying to build.

That helped bolster Brown's opinion of the Wizards as an organization.

"It's good to see guys like Brad stay home," Brown said. "Like he talked about, he got drafted here. It makes younger guys like me, Thomas [Bryant] and Rui [Hachimura] feel good about the city, just to see the leader of our team taking that extension when he does have other options."

Like Beal, Brown is a first round pick. The Wizards selected him 15th overall in the 2018 draft, six years after they took Beal with the third pick in 2012. Beal has been around long enough to know exactly what it takes to be a star player in the NBA.

Brown has paid close attention and believes Beal can help him and the other young players on the team find success in the league.

"He leads by example every day. He comes in, works hard and is very vocal. Even if he's not talking a lot in practice, he's going hard," Brown said. 

"It's just one of those things where every time you know what you're going to get out of him. You don't really have to worry about Brad's effort or being a leader because he's going to do that every day."

What Beal has done is essentially say he's ready to be patient and help guide the Wizards through a transition period. While other NBA stars probably would have forced their way out of the situation he's in, Beal is laying down roots with confidence the team's new front office structure and philosophy will pay dividends down the road.

Beal has spoken about how he wants to build something new in Washington where the NBA franchise hasn't won 50 games or been to the conference finals since the 1970s. Brown has fallen in line, hoping to be part of a basketball renaissance in The District.

"We're all young guys in the league, but at the same time we understand the stuff that's going on with D.C. [with the Nationals, Capitals and Mystics]. It's not irrelevant to us. We want to make a name for the Wizards. I feel like with us, we take it more personal than other people do. We just want to turn this thing around," he said.

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