March 7, 2021

Bradley Beal, Russell Westbrook lobbying for Friday’s Wizards game to be postponed

Beal, Westbrook lobbying for Friday’s Wizards game to be postponed originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

While the Wizards were able to practice on Wednesday and now technically have enough healthy players to face the Bucks on Friday, it does not sound like they would prefer to return that soon.

In fact, Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook plan to lobby with the NBA’s player association to have Friday’s game postponed, as they fear players could get hurt after missing eight days of practices and games.

“That’s just a recipe for injury, honestly. I think we’re fighting the league on it,” Beal said. “I think Russ and I are probably gonna talk to [NBPA president] Michele [Roberts] tonight and really push her on it, push the PA on it. The health of us is the most important thing, and the safety of us.”

Head coach Scott Brooks said the team wasn’t able to accomplish much on Wednesday. He had players shoot around and participate in five-on-zero drills. Right now, he has eight available players and that only includes one big man, Robin Lopez, and two forwards, Isaac Bonga and Anthony Gill.

Brooks wasn’t quite as direct as Beal, but seemed to agree it would be for the best to move Friday’s game, which would mark their sixth straight postponement.

“If they make us play the game, obviously we have to play the game. I don’t know how we’re gonna be able to play it, but we’re gonna do the best we can with whatever the rules and the league tells us to do,” Brooks said.

The Wizards play the Bucks on Friday and then the Spurs on Sunday. Both games are on the road. They plan to practice on Thursday morning and then fly to Milwaukee in anticipation of playing.

They have six players in the league’s Covid-19 protocol and Brooks doesn’t expect them to join the team anytime soon. If they play on Friday with only eight guys, they will have to adjust their style, likely by slowing down their offense and playing more zone on defense.

It sounds like even playing Sunday would be difficult given the amount of players they have and the shape they are in after the layoff. But at least getting one more game postponed would help.

“I know one day, that’s for damn sure not enough, especially after being off for a week,” Beal said.

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