Wizards' Bradley Beal Says His Hamstring Injury is 'Trending in the Right Direction'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 23, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 20: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards dribbles against the Indiana Pacers during the first half at Capital One Arena on May 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
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Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal dropped 33 points in a 125-118 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2021 NBA playoffs Sunday despite battling a nagging hamstring injury.

Beal told reporters after the game his hamstring is "trending in the right direction." The three-time All-Star also said he felt a little better after having two full days of rest since Washington's postseason-clinching victory over the Indiana Pacers in the play-in tournament.

As Washington was preparing for its first play-in game, Beal told reporters he still hadn't fully recovered from his hamstring strain and was "managing it as best I can." He still managed to shoot 13-of-23 from the field against Philadelphia and added 10 rebounds and six assists to his scoring effort.

The trouble for the Wizards is that a version of Beal who's 100 percent still may not be enough to get past the Sixers.

An 0-1 deficit is far from insurmountable, but it's not unusual for lower seeds to fight hard in Game 1 and still fall well short of advancing. 

The Portland Trail Blazers' series against the Los Angeles Lakers was a prime example. Damian Lillard's 34 points propelled Portland to a Game 1 win before the Lakers took the next four.

Game 2 will likely be pivotal for the Wizards. Tipoff isn't until Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, so Beal will have another few days to recuperate.

Should Washington even things up at one game apiece, perhaps an upset could be on the cards. A victory for the Sixers would put them firmly in the driver's seat.