But the race might conclude without Beal, who injured his hamstring (after scoring 50 points) in Washington’s win over the Pacers yesterday.
Injury report for Monday’s #WizHawks:
Bradley Beal (left hamstring strain) is out.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 9, 2021
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Beal underwent MRI today that ruled out significant injury to the hamstring, sources said. But he is ruled out Monday vs. Atlanta and his status is uncertain for the remaining regular season games Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. https://t.co/nCQtnwBwpX
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 9, 2021
Washington (32-36, ninth in the Eastern Conference, 3.5 games up on the 11th-place Bulls) is comfortably in play-in position. But the Wizards (1.5 games behind the eighth-place Hornets and half a game up on the 10th-place Pacers) are still jockeying for seed.
If they finish eighth, the Wizards could lose their first play-in game (against the seventh-place team) and still win their next play-in game to make the playoffs. If they finish ninth, they’d at least open the play-in tournament at home.
Washington’s closing schedule:
- Monday: at Hawks
- Wednesday: at Hawks
- Friday: vs. Cavaliers
- Next Sunday: vs. Hornets
Russell Westbrook has been stepping up lately. He can handle an even bigger role if Beal is sidelined.
But Beal has been the Wizards’ most consistently good performer throughout the season. It’d be a huge blow if he misses extended time – especially if this injury lingers into the play-in tournament.
As far as the scoring-title race, Beal is averaging 31.4 points per game to Curry’s 31.9. If Beal misses the rest of the season and Curry plays Golden State’s final four games, Curry would need to score 99 points (24.75 points per game) to hold his lead.