Man, how nice would it be to actually care about the Washington Wizards getting embarrassed 120-98 on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves, simultaneously blowing their chance at .500 and a four-game road winning streak?
Answer: Pretty friggin' nice, considering that we are instead dreading the potential news of a devastating knee injury to Bradley Beal following an MRI scheduled for today.
Thus far, the news has been good since Beal crumpled in a heap with 4:30 to play in the game and everyone assumed the worst because a) this is the Wizards we're talking about, and b) NBA courts have basically resembled MASH units this season. Beal had an X-ray after the game that came back negative, and reports were that he left the arena without crutches after initially using them on the way to his X-ray. Beal himself also sounded rather upbeat, given the circumstances.
Of course, all of that could mean nothing. I'm (obviously) not a doctor, but my understanding is that an X-ray would only reveal bone or structural damage, not ligament or tendon tears, which are the real fear here. Players are often optimistic before receiving catastrophic injury news, and walking out of the arena without crutches isn't indicative of anything either, as small or partial tears could leave enough stability to walk, but not enough to play professional basketball, and could take nearly as much time to heal.
Some personal context: My wife played her entire high school senior softball season at catcher after tearing her ACL on a skiing trip, so I wouldn't look too much into Beal being able to walk. It's obviously better than him using crutches, and I'm actually semi-optimistic this will "only" be a bruise or strain, but still, let's wait for the MRI.
So, well then, now that I've thoroughly ruined your morning, let's get straight to today's
Magical Doom Pixels:
Road team recaps: BF StoryStream | Washington Post (gamer, Beal sidebar) | AP | CSN Washington (recap, Beal sidebar) | Wiz of Awes | Wizards.com | Monumental Network
Home team recaps: Canis Hoopus | Minneapolis Star Tribune (gamer, sidebar) | St. Paul Pioneer Press | AP | NBA.com | Sportige | FOX Sports North | 1500 ESPN | Fansided
Postgame interviews: Randy Wittman | Bradley Beal | John Wall | Martell Webster | Marcin Gortat
1 - Healthy knees Bradley Beal ended the T-Wolves game with.
2 - Free throws Minnesota took for every one Washington took, i.e., the T-Wolves shot twice as many free throws (38) as the Wiz (17). The discrepancy was even higher earlier in the game, before someone from the NBA no doubt called to let the refs know they were making the whole charade a bit too obvious. This is what everyone was talking about on Twitter before, well, just check out the tweets below.
TWEETS OF THE NIGHT
And now is time for all the second-guessing about Beal still being in.— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) December 28, 2013
NOOOOOOOO! pic.twitter.com/ovYVPms0gc— Danny (@recordsANDradio) December 28, 2013
I frighten even myself with these powers. But a true Wizards fan has a sixth sense for expecting the worst pic.twitter.com/6TL9qCur3d— David Malitz (@malitzd) December 28, 2013
just saw the brad beal injury. oh no.— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) December 28, 2013
Another one down. Just cancel the NBA: http://t.co/rmK1JcIGKh RT @MikePradaSBN: Welp https://t.co/BgOGv2aF0Z— SB Nation (@sbnation) December 28, 2013
#Wizards Beal X-ray's negative, but main concern is soft tissue. Meniscus, ligaments, tendons are seen clearly with MRI.— Dr. Ray Solano (@DrRaySolano) December 28, 2013
BEAL TOO? JUST TAKE THEM ALL, BASKETBALL GODS. JUST TAKE THEM ALL, WHY DON'T YA?— Amin Vafa (@AminNBA) December 28, 2013
Bradley Beal walked out on his own power, no crutches: "The X-ray was pretty positive – it was negative, my bad. It was negative." #wizards— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) December 28, 2013
Bradley Beal still had a limp in his step, but was upbeat. Will have MRI back in DC: "Hopefully, I’ll be good moving forward." #wizards— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) December 28, 2013
Meanwhile, Wiz praying Bradley Beal just has a bad bruise. Will know more after MRI Sat. X-ray after game was negative; no ligament damage.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) December 28, 2013
Not sure how you can tell there's no ligament damage from an X-ray, but whatever. I'm too depressed to argue.
VIDEO/GIF OF THE NIGHT
These are called "Doom Pixels" today for a reason. Apologies in advance.
GAMETHREAD BEALMEGEDDON COMMENT OF THE NIGHT
Not technically from the gamethread, but this came during the game in the post about Beal's injury and, I think, perfectly encapsulates how all Wizards fans were/are feeling.
GAMETHREAD COMMENT OF THE NIGHT
Just for levity's sake, here is what would have been the Comment of the Night before Beal went down.
|18||John Wall Stan||11|
|20||The Dark Side of the Sun||11|
- Wizards vs. Timberwolves final score: Wizards sluggish in 120-98 loss on the road
- Wizards vs. Timberwolves: Washington gets blown out and Bradley Beal suffers leg injury
- Bradley Beal injury: Wizards' G carried off after injuring left leg
- Wizards vs. Timberwolves preview: Welcome back, welcome back.
- Wizards Wrap: Washington can't get no respect