Woj: Wizards' Bradley Beal to Return from Hamstring Injury vs. Knicks

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 18, 2023

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 03: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards handles the ball during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum on January 03, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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 Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal is reportedly planning to play in Wednesday's game against the New York Knicks.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news, which comes after Beal missed the last five games with a hamstring strain.

Washington dropped four of the five games Beal missed, dropping to 18-26 on the season.

Beal is averaging 22.9 points, 5.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game this season. While he's shooting a career-high 52.5 percent from the floor, that increase in efficiency has led to a massive drop in volume. Beal's points per game have dropped precipitously since he set a career high of 31.3 in 2020-21, and it wouldn't be a surprise if he missed his second straight All-Star game.

That's not exactly what Washington envisioned when Beal signed a five-year, $251 million contract to remain with the franchise this offseason.

Beal is actually second on the Wizards in field goal attempts per game, shooting 1.6 fewer times per night than Kyle Kuzma. While Kuzma is in the midst of his own career year, the math doesn't add up to make that formula for winning basketball given Kuz is making his shots at a clip 6.8 percent worse than Beal.

The Wizards will have to hope Beal's return to the lineup sparks a return to the aggressive style of play that led to him making three All-Star teams.