Amid rumors that Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks could be fired soon, the 2-8 Wizards are amok in bad luck. On Saturday, the Wizards saw underrated center Thomas Bryant go down with a season-ending partially torn ACL, and now comes word that Russell Westbrook will miss at least a week with a left quadriceps injury. On the bright side, Bradley Beal will be in the lineup Monday vs. visiting Phoenix after missing Saturday due to COVID protocols. The Wizards are 6.5-point underdogs on the William Hill Sportsbook NBA odds.
The 23-year-old Bryant was having a fine season, averaging a career-high 14.3 points on 64.8% shooting and 6.1 rebounds in 27.1 minutes per game this season. He had been one of only two players on the Wizards to start every game. The team will apply for a $4.2 million Disabled Player Exception with the season-ending injury to Bryant. Assuming it's granted, the Wizards can use the spot to acquire a player for the rest of the season.
Westbrook, meanwhile, is just dealing with wear-and-tear on that injured quad and also has been bothered by a dislocated finger. Westbrook is averaging 19.3 points, 11.3 assists and 9.7 rebounds in seven games -- Washington is just 1-6 in those seven as Russ is shooting a horrible 37.8 percent from the field and 30.3 percent from 3-point range
That means the Wizards are essentially Beal and not a heck of a lot more. Some believe all this losing could finally push Beal to ask for a trade to a contender – and they would line up to get him. Beal leads the NBA in averaging 35.0 points per game. His five games this season with at least 30 points are tied for the most in the NBA.
Phoenix concludes a three-game road trip Monday and has split the first two. The Suns tied a franchise record for fewest turnovers in a game by committing just three in Saturday's win at Indiana. At 7-3, Phoenix is off to its best start since opening the 2009-10 season at 8-2. No key Suns are expected to miss Monday's game.
Devin Booker is averaging 34.3 points over his past four vs. Washington. The winning team has scored at least 120 points in each of the last four – all four going Over the total -- and six of the past seven.
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