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'Who else gonna shoot?' Replacing Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans is no small task for Wizards

'Who else gonna shoot?' Replacing Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans is no small task for Wizards

With Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans out of the picture now, the Washington Wizards' roster in the NBA's Disney World restart will look very similar to the one they had in the Las Vegas Summer League last July. That's not taking a shot, it is stating a fact.

The majority of their rotation will have been in Vegas. The Summer League roster had Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr., Moe Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Admiral Schofield and Anzejs Pasecniks. Sprinkle in some Ish Smith, Shabazz Napier, Jerome Robinson and Thomas Bryant, and you basically have the Wizards' new-look team in Orlando.

This time, though, it will be obvious who is missing, as both Beal and Bertans are not participating to preserve their health for the future. And that leaves a massive hole of production the Wizards need to fill, likely with young and inexperienced players.

"I'm sad for Brad's injury and it sucks that he's not here with us," Brown said. "Brad is a big part of us. But it's one of those things where we have a lot of guys from the age of 20 to 23, so there's a lot of opportunity here."

In fact, with Beal alone the Wizards will have to replace the league's second-leading scorer. His 30.5 points per game are tops in the Eastern Conference and second only to James Harden's 34.4.

Beal is also the highest volume shooter in the NBA. He leads the league in field goal attempts per game this season, coming in at a whopping 22.9, which is the most for a Wizards/Bullets player since 1991.

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Another way to look at it is this: Beal has the fifth-highest usage rate in the league. By that metric, only four players in the league have a larger role in their team's offense than Beal: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, Harden and Trae Young.

Add Bertans' numbers into Beal's and you can see just how much will be missing from the Wizards. They combine to average 45.9 points per game on 34.2 shots.

The two of them combine to take 37.6 percent of the team's total field goal attempts on average. And that number jumps in the fourth quarter, where Beal and Bertans take 44.4 percent of the Wizards' field goal attempts.

Beal and Bertans take 9.5 of the Wizards' 21.4 attempts in the fourth on average. And Beal's 6.0 shots in the fourth are second-most in the NBA.

Rui Hachimura now remains as the Wizards' leader in total shot attempts with 11.1 per game. That ranks 105th in the NBA among qualifying players.

Hachimura, though, feels like he's prepared for a larger role because of his experience as a star in college and on Team Japan in international play.

"Not only Gonzaga, but the national team, I had to be the guy. So for right now, I have more opportunity to score and to playmake. It's going to be great for me and as a team, a young team, we have a great opportunity. I'm so excited about it," he said.

Between Hachimura and the other remaining Wizards players, shots will have to be taken. The most likely result is that players like him, Brown and others will have no choice but to be more aggressive. They won't have the option to defer to veteran teammates who they are used to taking on an outsized scoring role. As former Wizards guard Jordan Crawford famously said, "who else gonna shoot?"

Napier says it will need to be a collective effort where everyone takes on a little more responsibility, not just a few stepping up.

"We have to understand that one person is not going to be able to do what they were able to do. We have to utilize everybody from the first person to the last person off the bench and understand that everybody in this league is capable of making a big-time shot or having a big-time game," he said.

"You don't have a star player like Bradley and a great player in D.B. [Normally,] you focus on them, even as players you focus on just trying to get them the ball. Your game doesn't show the way you would want to show it at times, or what you can possibly do. So, this is a great opportunity for a lot of guys to show who they are."

Head coach Scott Brooks mentioned Hachimura in particular when it comes to filling in for Bertans. For Beal, he pointed to Brown, Robinson, Bonga and the potential to play two point guards together.

He now has some time to figure it out before their first game on July 31 against the Suns.

"It's open. It's wide open. The next three weeks, guys are going to be fighting for minutes," Brooks said.

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John Wall shares priceless workout video with his son, Ace

John Wall shares priceless workout video with his son, Ace

It's hard to imagine a better way to work out than how John Wall enjoyed his regimen Wednesday. 

Wall posted a video on Instagram doing pushups on a BOSU ball while his son, Ace looked on. All he wanted from his dad was a hug, though. 

It really doesn't get any better than that. 

Wall continues to work toward the 2020-21 season and his much-anticipated return to the floor after missing all of the 2019-20 campaign recovering from Achilles surgery. 

RELATED: GIANNIS SUSPENDED ONE GAME FOR HEADBUTTING MOE WAGNER

In his absence Bradley Beal became one of the most consistent and prolific scorers in the NBA, the Wizards found a gem in sharpshooter Davis Bertans and saw key developments from young players such as Troy Brown Jr., Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura. 

Wall will return to a much different Washington team next season than the one he was forced to leave midway through the 2018-19 season. From all accounts, he looks ready to give them the boost necessary to become a legitimate force in the Eastern Conference. 

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Celtics resting all of their best players offers Wizards good chance for first win in final bubble game

Celtics resting all of their best players offers Wizards good chance for first win in final bubble game

It has been five months since the Wizards last won a game and it could be another four months until they have another chance. They enter Thursday's season finale against the Boston Celtics (12 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington) having lost all 10 of their games in the NBA's restart bubble, though technically only seven of them count.

That leaves Thursday's game with some relatively high stakes. The Wizards are trying to avoid leaving Disney World winless.

The good news is that the Boston Celtics see nothing to play for, so they are resting basically all of their best players. Their injury report reads like a starting lineup.

Out are Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis. Brown, Hayward and Smart are listed as out due to rest. The others have minor injuries. 

That could create an opening for the Wizards, who have yet to take advantage of the few breaks offered by their seeding game schedule. They lost to the Suns back before Phoenix became the surprise team of the bubble. They also lost to the Brooklyn Nets with most of their roster missing and then again to the Pacers who were without Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

On Tuesday, they fell to the Bucks who were missing Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton and saw Giannis Antetokounmpo ejected in the first half. The Wizards' lack of winning experience due to their very young roster has proven too much to overcome.

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Maybe that will change on Thursday as the Wizards sense their final opportunity for a win before they get on a flight and head back to Washington to begin their offseason. They will see a Celtics team whose top remaining scorer is Enes Kanter, who averages 8.1 points per game.

Boston is one of the best teams in the NBA when healthy. They have the third-best record in the East and rank top-four in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

And they still have one of their most valuable assets: head coach Brad Stevens. He happened to get a contract extension on Wednesday.

The odds might actually be in the Wizards' favor despite the fact they are missing Bradley Beal, John Wall and Davis Bertans. We'll see if they can take advantage.

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