The looks on Wizards' players faces said it all. When Sheldon Mac went down during the second quarter of their preseason win over the Cavaliers on Sunday afternoon, those close enough to see what happened immediately knew it was serious.
The entire team surrounded Mac at midcourt as trainers lifted him off the ground and into the locker room. Now the second-year guard is set for an MRI either Sunday evening or Monday morning. The fear is a torn Achilles tendon, an injury that would keep him out not only for the rest of this season but affect his plans next summer as well.
"It’s sad. It’s devastating," guard Bradley Beal said. "Sheldon (Mac) is a great guy. He’s a great teammate and even better player, too. You never want to see anybody go down, especially with an injury, in which you know it could be serious potentially. We can do nothing but pray for him."
"He's a brother. Our hearts dropped when he went down on the floor," forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. said. "I said a prayer for him when he was on the floor and I was standing over him."
The Wizards won't know until the MRI results come in. Right now it is considered a lower left leg injury. Mac hurt himself pushing off his left leg. He stumbled forward while dribbling as his left foot went limp.
Mac, 24, has impressed so far this preseason. He had three points in 10 minutes with one assist on Sunday before leaving. Mac played little minutes last season after joining the Wizards as an undrafted free agent out of Miami. This year, he is hoping for an expanded role.
If Mac is indeed out for an extended period of time, that should create an opportunity for either Carrick Felix or Donald Sloan. Sloan offers more NBA experience with five seasons under his belt. He can also score and would provide insurance for backup point guard Tim Frazier, who has yet to play in the preseason due to a groin strain.
Felix, though, has been one of the most impressive reserves for the Wizards throughout the preseason. He has drawn praise from teammates and coaches for his unrelenting effort. He took a charge with less than three minutes to go in their first preseason game and on Sunday went all-out for a chasedown block with :30 on the clock in the fourth.
“He plays with maximum effort. That is his strength," head coach Scott Brooks said. "He has one way of playing, he has the play hard button and he plays it and uses it every game and he steps on the floor and does the same thing in practice, every practice he brings it. He’s given himself a good opportunity to make the team."
"He's honestly just been my favorite player this whole training camp. He goes hard at all times. He takes care of his body. He's a professional guy," Oubre said. "I'm very impressed at how hard he plays at all times. As an energy guy, when I'm on the court with him I just get a little bit more energized. We come back."
Felix has also shown flashes on offense. He had 13 points in 24 minutes on 4-of-6 shooting on Sunday. Felix's calling card, however, is his defense. And that could be an attractive quality given the Wizards' main backup shooting guard Jodie Meeks is known for his scoring.
The Wizards have some depth at Mac's position, but they have high hopes for his future and are certainly hoping for the best with the MRI.
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